368 Kandanga-Amamoor Rd
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Platypus & Wildlife Spotting
Walk by Amamoor Creek at Amama park and you might spot a platypus. Or you could hire a bike or kayak ...
Enjoy the tranquility of a kayak on Mary River or Yabba Creek. Get close to nature as the nocturnal animals awake and look for their night time feed. Experience the chance of getting up close to the elusive and shy platypus.
The Platypus is a small, semi-aquatic mammal found in the eastern part of Australia and one of four monotremes, the only mammals that lay eggs instead of giving birth to live young. (The other three monotremes are echidnas)
The Platypus looks rather like a beaver; the body and broad, flat tail are covered with brown fur, but it has webbed feet and a large, rubbery snout. The Platypus is a semi-aquatic animal, and is an excellent swimmer. It keeps its eyes tightly shut when swimming, relying completely on its other senses. All four feet of the Platypus are webbed. When it swims, it propels itself by paddling with the front two feet. The tail and hind feet assist in steering but not propulsion.
The Platypus feeds on worms and insect larvae, freshwater shrimps, and yabbies that it digs out of the river bed with its snout or catches while swimming. Its bill is very sensitive, allowing it to hunt its food without using its eyesight. The Platypus is the only mammal that locates its prey in part by detecting their body electricity.
When not in the water, the Platypus retires to a short, straight burrow in the riverbank not far above water level, often hidden under a protective tangle of roots. For breeding, the female digs much larger and more elaborate burrows, up to 20 metres long and blocked with plugs at intervals. She fills the nest at the end of the tunnel with reeds for bedding material.
As a monotreme, the Platypus does not give birth to live young but instead lays eggs in its nest. When the eggs hatch, the small babies emerge and cling to the mother. Like other mammals, the mother produces milk for the new babies. The Platypus does not have apparent external nipples, but excretes the milk through small openings in the skin. The young Platypus sucks the milk up from the mother's belly while she is lying on her back
The male Platypus has venomous ankle spurs. The poison is not lethal to humans but produces excruciating pain and swelling that may last for several months. The venom can be lethal to dogs and smaller domestic animals.