28x 36cm giclee print
The Platypus is one of only two mammals (the echidna is the other) that lay eggs. They are the only Monotremes in the world! Platypuses (or platypodes) can be 60cm long with males weighing up to 3kg and females 1.7kg. Prehistoric platypuses were 1m long! The name Platypus comes from the Greek word for ‘flat-footed’. On land they’re very awkward, walking on their knuckles to protect the webbing of their feet. Expert swimmers, they use these webbed feet to propel themselves and use their tails to steer through the water. Their dense, silky brown fur is both waterproof and insulating. The platypuses ‘duck bill’ is flexible, rubbery and feels like suede. They use their bill to dig up food from the riverbed, but it’s also highly sensitive. Platypuses hunt with their eyes, ears and nostrils closed and use electroreceptors on their bills to detect electrical signals given off by prey as it moves. The Platypus is one of very few venomous mammals in the world. The spur on the male’s hind foot is connected to a venom-secreting gland used during aggressive encounters between rival males. Females seal themselves inside one of the burrow’s chambers to lay their eggs. A mother typically produces one or two eggs and keeps them warm by holding them between her body and her tail. The eggs hatch in about ten days, but platypus infants are the size of lima beans and totally helpless. Females nurse their young for three to four months until the babies can swim on their own. Lifespan of a platypus in the wild is around 10 years.
Proceeds of the original artwork was donated to WIRES to support the rescue and rehabilitation of Native Australian Fauna