1 min read
Platypus Blog Image


New research revealed that platypuses are disappearing from waterways after the Black Summer bushfires swept across eastern Australia in 2019–20.

About Platypus:

  • It is a duck-billed, beaver-tailed, otter-footed, egg-laying mammal.
  • It is a small species of semi-aquatic mammal indigenous to the eastern coast of Australia.
  • They are solitary animals that, despite occupying overlapping home ranges, only come together during the breeding season.
  • They are nocturnal hunters.
  • Habitat: They are found in freshwater systems from tropical rainforest lowlands and plateaus of far northern Queensland to cold, high altitudes of Tasmania and the Australian Alps.
  • Appearance
    • The platypus is an animal with a small, streamlined body that is covered in short and dense waterproof fur.
    • The watertight nostrils on its bill remain sealed so that the animal can stay submerged for up to two minutes as it forages for food.
    • The bill also comes equipped with specialized nerve endings, called electroreceptors, which detect tiny electrical currents generated by the muscular contractions of prey.
    • Male platypuses have a spur on the inner side of each ankle that is connected to a venom gland located over the thighs.
  • Diet: They are carnivorous mammal whose diet is almost solely comprised of bottom-dwelling aquatic creatures.
  • Conservation statu
    • IUCN: Near Threatened


Q1) What are Electroreceptors?

Electroreceptors are specialized sensory organs or cells found in certain animals that allow them to detect and respond to electric fields or electrical stimuli in their environment. These receptors are particularly important for aquatic animals, although some terrestrial species also possess them. Electroreception serves various purposes, including finding prey, navigation, and communication.

Source: Even platypuses aren’t safe from bushfires — a new DNA study tracks their disappearance