The Australian Wonder Book of Knowledge - [Home]            



Haunts of The Platypus

General Description

The Platypus Burrow

Platypuses In Captivity

Pelt Hunters and the Platypus



Haunts of The Platypus.


    There is only one kind of platypus, and it is confined to eastern Australia and Tasmania. South Australia may be included in its range, though it occurs only in the Murray and in two other streams just within the eastern borders of the State. Our little wonder animal is found from the tropics to Tasmania, being as much at home in sun-warmed water as it is in streams too cold for humans to bathe in Alpine streams appear to suit Ornithorhynchus, which thrives even at 6,000 feet on Kosciusko.

Forest streams and those that flow through fern gullies, with occasional quiet pools in which blackfish lurk, provide ideal conditions for the platypus. The quiet angler has had many a glimpse of this quaint animal, usually toward evening. The water may be crystal clear, but a platypus stream must necessarily have mud lying deep on its bed. For mud is a food store, and the animal spends much of its time extracting sustenance from the ooze which is sieved through the bill. Aquatic insects, tadpoles and worms are included in the platypus dietary, mud sieving alone failing to satisfy a huge appetite.

The food problem must be solved quickly when a platypus is taken into captivity, and the New York Zoo authorities actually established a worm farm for the platypuses taken to America a few years ago by David Fleay.






Wonder Book of Knowledge