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All about Mammals
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Duck-billed Platypus
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The duck-billed platypus, Ornithorhynchus anatinus, is a primitive Australian mammal (a monotreme) that lays eggs. After an egg hatches, the tiny baby (called a puggle) drinks its mother's milk, which comes from tiny openings in the mother's belly. They have a life span of 10-17 years. Platypus live in burrows and spend much of their time in freshwater ponds and streams. The name platypus means "flat footed."

Anatomy: The duck-billed platypus is about the size of a pet cat. It has thick, waterproof fur all over its body (except for the feet and bill). The legs sprawl out to the side of the body, giving it a lizard-like walk. Males are venomous - they have a poisoned spike on their ankles which the platypus can use to kill small animals in self-defense.

Diet: This carnivore (meat-eater) uses its bill to strain its tiny prey, like crayfish, worms, insects, snails, and shrimp from muddy water. It can store food in cheek pouches while it is hunting underwater.

Questions:
1. The female duck-billed platypus lays ___________________________.

2. What is a baby duck-billed platypus called? ___________________________

3. What does the name platypus mean? ___________________________

4. Does the platypus eat plants or meat? ___________________________

5. The male duck-billed platypus has a venomous ______________________ on the ankle.



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