The platypus is one of the strangest mammals on earth. With its duck-like bill, beaver-like tail, and otter-like body, this peculiar creature defies all taxonomic reasoning. While most mammal species are known for their distinctive traits, making them easy to identify and locate in the wild, the platypus has none of these.
Instead, it’s been dubbed the “ghost of the animal kingdom” because of how rarely humans spot it. Due to its lack of easily identifiable characteristics and isolated natural habitat, spotting a platypus may seem like a hopeless endeavor for avid nature enthusiasts. However, with perseverance and some luck, it can be done! Here are some tips on how you can see a platypus in the wild.
Australia – The Home of the Platypus
The platypus is native to Australia and Tasmania. The animal is found in rivers, freshwater lakes, and streams in the eastern part of the continent. The platypus is one of only a few venomous mammals in the world.
There are four species of a platypus: the duck-billed platypus, the short-tailed platypus, the long-footed platypus, and the spiny-tailed platypus. The platypus is found in waterways such as lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams in eastern Australia. The platypus prefers habitats with dense vegetation and soft banks. You can find platypuses in small rivers and lakes in Tasmania.
Determining Where to Find a Platypus
The first step in finding a platypus is identifying its natural habitat. While this animal can be found in a variety of locales, it prefers areas with slow-moving bodies of water. When choosing a place to live, the platypus is very particular about water quality.
It prefers bodies of water that are free of excessive pollution. This is because the platypus uses the water for hunting and rearing young, which is essential. The animal is also susceptible to excessive noise and human activity, making it a poor inhabitant of more populated areas.
To find a platypus, look in the following places:
– Near large lakes and rivers: The platypus is a semi-aquatic animal, so it spends much of its time in or near the water. The larger the water source, the better.
– Near quiet, natural rivers and streams: Although the platypus is not incredibly picky about water quality, it does like to avoid noise. This can be done by staying near natural areas away from human-made structures.
Stay in Shaded Areas During the Day
One of the easiest ways to locate a platypus is simply to find a tree. The animal spends much of its free time hunting or breeding in trees, particularly in shaded areas. Platypuses climb trees and rest in them to keep out of sight of predators and to keep them from drying out in extreme weather conditions.
The animal also spends time in the trees to hunt for small insects, frogs, and freshwater crabs. When looking for a platypus in the trees, look for stumps or logs with cavities or trees with large, sturdy branches that can support their considerable weight.
Look for Nests and Burrows
In addition to resting in trees, platypuses also construct their own nests and burrows. These structures can be found in a variety of places, including the following:
– Near the water’s edge: When designing their structures, the platypus incorporates nearby materials, such as reeds, grass, and sticks found on the ground.
– In shaded areas: Platypuses like to build their nests and burrows in areas that are both hidden and protected from the sun.
– Near large piles of rocks: Platypuses sometimes build their structures under or inside large, rocky areas.
The platypus may very well be the world’s most elusive animal, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be seen. You need to know where to look to spot this strange creature. The platypus prefers quiet, shaded areas near large bodies of water, so look for its holes in the riverbed and trails leading to the water’s edge. With a little effort and patience, spotting a platypus can be as easy as spotting a duck.