Since it first became known to European scientists and naturalists in 1798, the platypus has been the subject of controversy, interest and absolute wonder. Found only in Australia, the platypus is a mammal that lays eggs but, like other mammals, it has fur and suckles its young on milk. Many early biologists who visited the British colonies in Australia, including Charles Darwin, went out of their way to observe this remarkable animal. In Australia today the species is considered to be an icon, but one that many Australians have never seen in the wild.This book presents established factual information about the platypus and examines the most recent research findings, along with some of the colorful history of the investigation of its biology. This completely updated edition covers its anatomy, distribution and abundance, breeding, production of venom, unique senses, ecology, ancestry and conservation. It includes a Frequently Asked Questions section for the general reader and, for those wishing to find out more detailed information, a comprehensive reference list.
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Adelaide Hills adult animals appear aquatic Australian Platypus Conservancy behaviour bill biologists biology body temperature bones bottom brain breeding season captivity captured catchments Chapter cheek pouches chromosomes Creek crural system dams distribution diving drought eggs electroreceptors feeding Figure fish ﬂood foraging fossil freshwater habitat Harry Burrell Healesville Sanctuary home ranges individuals juvenile males juvenile platypuses Lake Lea macroinvertebrate male platypus mammals mark and recapture marsupial mating metres milk modern platypus Monotremata monotremes nerve nesting burrow nestlings nets normally Obdurodon observed occupied occur Ornithorhynchus anatinus period Photo platy platypus Ornithorhynchus anatinus platypus populations platypus-like pools prey items puses Queensland radio-tracked reported reproductive result riparian vegetation sensory short-beaked echidna South Wales spur sheath substrates suggested surface swimming Sydney tablelands tail Tasmania Thredbo River tion traps trout upper Shoalhaven River venom glands Victoria Warrawong Sanctuary water rat wild winter yabbies young