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The platypus is an unlikely animal in nature. The animal is often described as a mix of a beaver (tail), duck (bill and webbed feet), and an otter (body and fur). Males are also venomous. They have sharp stingers on the heels of their rear feet and can use them to deliver a strong toxic blow.

The platypus is a mammal. They hunt underwater. They have webbed front feet and steer with their back feet and beaver like tail that helps them move in the water. Folds of their skin cover their eyes and ears to prevent the water from entering. Their nostrils close with a watertight seal also. They scoop up insects, worms, shellfish, and larvae with their bill. They also pick up some gravel and mud from the bottom of the water. They do not have teeth, so the bits of gravel help them to chew their meal.

However, they can’t move quite as well on land. The webbing at their front feet retracts to reveal individual nails that helps them to run. They can use these nails to dig and construct burrows at water edges.

Read on and learn more about the Platypus in today's Visit the Wildside!

Click HERE to download this activity as a printable PDF.

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