is a semi-aquatic mammal endemic to eastern Australia, including Tasmania. Together with the four species of echidna, it is one of the five extant species of monotremes, the only mammals that lay eggs instead of giving birth to live young. It is the sole living representative of its family (Ornithorhynchidae) and genus (Ornithorhynchus), though a number of related species have been found in the fossil record. The unusual appearance of this egg-laying, venomous, duck-billed, beaver-tailed, otter-footed mammal baffled European naturalists when they first encountered it, with some considering it an elaborate fraud. It is one of the few venomous mammals, the male platypus having a spur on the hind foot that delivers a venom capable of causing severe pain to humans. The unique features of the platypus make it an important subject in the study of evolutionary biology and a recognisable and iconic symbol of Australia; it has appeared as a mascot at national events and is featured on the reverse of the Australian 20 cent coin. The platypus is the animal emblem of the state of New South Wales. Until the early 20th century, it was hunted for its fur, but it is now protected throughout its range. Although captive breeding programmes have had only limited success and the platypus is vulnerable to the effects of pollution, it is not under any immediate threat.
The shy Platypus is found only in eastern Australia, where they live on the edges of rivers and freshwater lakes where burrows can be dug. The best streams are ones where the banks are strong enough for building their deep burrows, and often these banks overhang the river. During the day, a Platypus often rests in this burrow, but it may spend some hours near the entrance to the burrow, basking in the sun and grooming its dense fur. But Platypuses (or platypi) are most active for several hours after dusk and before dawn. Platypuses are renound for their excellence in the water as both a diver and swimmer
It is not common to see platypi in the wild. To take these few photos I sat very quietly at the waters edge for quite awhile on sunset without being sure I would see one (the local people told me they were in this area). I was very lucky as three actually appeared. the first thing you see is bubbles in the water, then they come to surface, just for seconds and underneath the water they go again. I feel absolutely lucky and priviledged to have been able to see them in their natural habitat. I have added three edited photos, so that you can see him/her a bit easier. cheers Karen