In Water, On Land
A platypus is built for both land and water. Its front feet are webbed. When it spreads its toes, its foot becomes a paddle. It paddles through the water. When it swims, its back feet help it steer and brake.
The platypus may feel most at home in the water.
This platypus's big webbed feet help propel it through the water.
The platypus’s feet help it on land and in water.
On land, it can use its front claws to dig. Its back feet help it climb on land. Male platypuses have hollow spikes in their back feet. They are filled with a venom. The platypuses use these when they fight other platypuses.
Male platypuses have spikes on their back heels.
The platypus’s tail helps it swim. It also stores fat.
Tail and Eyes
Do you know what the platypus’s tail is for? It’s a storage tank! It holds body fat. This fat gets used up when food is scarce.
On land, a platypus uses its eyes to spot predators. In water, it closes its eyes tightly to keep the water out. How does it hunt? It uses its other senses to find prey.
It may seem like the platypus has some odd parts. But, this mishmash mammal is a survival success story!
Lighter fur on its eyelids make this platypus’s eyes seem to glow when closed underwater.