Platypus Facts for Kids


The Australian platypus is an odd mammal with an otter-like body, duck-like bill, webbed feet and beaver-like tail. Platypuses live on land and feed in water, where swimming is easy. The animal has no teeth--the gravel it consume helps to digest food. When scientists discovered the platypus, they did not believe such an animal could exist.


  • The size of a platypus is 20 inches from head to tail, with the body being 15 inches, and tail 5 inches. A platypus weighs 3 lbs.


  • Platypuses stay under water for up to two minutes. Sealed nostrils and protective eye and ear membranes keep water out.


  • A male platypus uses stingers on his back feet to inject victims with poison.


  • Platypuses eat insects, shellfish, worms and larvae at the bottom of water sources. They scoop with their bills, stuffing food into their cheeks.


  • On land, the platypus moves awkwardly. By exposing nails on each foot, the platypus can walk, run and dig.

Expert Insight

  • Females lay up to two eggs. The tiny babies hatch after about 10 days, staying with their mother for several months.

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