Sneak a peek at a platypus at Cradle Mountain
With its strange rubbery duck bill and webbed feet, the platypus is an iconic Australian animal that can be seen in the fresh, clean, rivers, streams and alpine lakes of Tasmania’s Cradle Mountain National Park.
Platypus are monotremes, and manage to do everything out of just one hole in their body. They are one of only two species of mammals that lay eggs.
Although platypus are mammals, they walk like crocodiles and lizards. This is because their legs stick out from the sides, rather than hang underneath them. If you have seen a crocodile waddle, then you know how a platypus walks.
Platypus spend most of their time in the water, where they constantly search the river bottom for worms, insects, shrimps and snails. When they are not hunting for food, they sleep or look after their babies in burrows dug into the river bank.
Platypus like shady, slow running rivers or streams with pebbly bottoms and earth banks matted with the tangled tree roots. The water must be clean and fresh and full of the little creatures platypus eat, so Cradle Mountain National Park is a great place to go platypus spotting.
Platypus are easy to spot, with their rubbery toothless bill, golden fur and big flat tail that acts like a rudder to glide them slowly and smoothly through the water. Platypus are playful and very active in the early morning or evenings, and you might even see baby platypus in the summer months at Cradle Mountain National Park.
For more information about platypus, contact PlatypusEnquiries at ParksTasmania
Many thanks to Koji for the image.