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Digging in the mud
Lens: DFA 150-450 Camera: K3 Photo Location: Canberra, Australia ISO: 1600 Shutter Speed: 1/350s Aperture: F8 
Posted By: RobG, 08-03-2019, 06:32 AM


Digging in the mud
by RobGeraghty, on Flickr
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08-03-2019, 02:37 PM   #2
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Looks as if this guy likes to get down and dirty, Rob. What kind of critter is this guy (or gal)?

Jer
08-03-2019, 03:47 PM   #3
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What a treat Rob. Lovely.
08-03-2019, 04:10 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sailor Quote
Looks as if this guy likes to get down and dirty, Rob. What kind of critter is this guy (or gal)?
Ornithorhynchus anatinus, the Platypus. It swims with it's eyes and ears shut, finding food in the form of shrimp, crayfish and worms by touch and by sensors in the rubbery bill which detect the faint electrical signals of muscles contracting. They have really dense fur coats with a doublelayer that traps air close to the body. Rather than give birth in the way marsupials do, they actually lay eggs in a burrow.


QuoteOriginally posted by Des Quote
What a treat Rob. Lovely.
Thanks Des!

08-03-2019, 04:38 PM   #5
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Great capture of a rare, and very shy little animal Rob. Very well done mate.
08-03-2019, 05:59 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by pjv Quote
Great capture of a rare, and very shy little animal Rob. Very well done mate.
Thank you!
08-03-2019, 07:05 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by RobG Quote
Ornithorhynchus anatinus . . . . . . . . .
That was on the tip of my tongue . . . . . .

Jer
08-03-2019, 08:31 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sailor Quote
That was on the tip of my tongue . . . . . .
It used to be called Ornithorhynchus paradoxus, because the first specimens to reach the UK were thought to be a hoax, stitched together from several different animals. I haven't memorised many species names, but I do remember the two Australian monotremes; the Platypus and the Echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus). The only furry egg-laying animals in the land of Oz.

08-03-2019, 08:48 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by RobG Quote
It used to be called Ornithorhynchus paradoxus, because the first specimens to reach the UK were thought to be a hoax, stitched together from several different animals. I haven't memorised many species names, but I do remember the two Australian monotremes; the Platypus and the Echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus). The only furry egg-laying animals in the land of Oz.
Nice capture. Seeing one in native habitat is on the bucket list. They seem so cute but I do know that they have a poisonous spur on the hind legs and they are a little ill tempered. It is amazing that we still have two egg laying mammals on the planet.... and every other mammal is evolutionarily, ex post facto. Isolation has certainly made Australia an amazing biological environment.

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08-03-2019, 08:53 PM   #10
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Cute Platypus at Healesville Sanctuary in Victoria.



---------- Post added 04-08-19 at 02:04 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by SCGushue Quote
Nice capture. Seeing one in native habitat is on the bucket list. They seem so cute but I do know that they have a poisonous spur on the hind legs and they are a little ill tempered. It is amazing that we still have two egg laying mammals on the planet.... and every other mammal is evolutionarily, ex post facto. Isolation has certainly made Australia an amazing biological environment.
Hi Stephen! They're hard to spot in the wild; most Australians have never seen one. I've seen them in the wild in a number of places, but the most reliable spot I know of is Eungella National Park in far north Queensland. I've seen them in the wild here in Canberra, as well as further south on the Victorian border, near Uki in northern New South Wales, Werrikimbe National Park in northern NSW, near Mount Barney in Southern Queensland, and Eungella near Mackay. Eungella was the only place I got to see them in full daylight happily frolicking in clear water.

The male Platypus does have a venomous spur, but there's been very few envenomations. It seems to be for fighting other males rather than a defence mechanism against predators, but maybe they would use it against a cat, fox or dingo?


There's several species of Echidna native to Papua New Guinea, so there is a monotreme outside Australia (just). But yes, Australia's long isolation and relatively stable environment has allowed some amazing animals to survive.
08-04-2019, 12:40 AM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by RobG Quote
Cute Platypus at Healesville Sanctuary in Victoria.
What a friendly playful wee creature, almost like a water living dog... I always imagined them to be retiring shy beasties.
08-04-2019, 01:28 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kerrowdown Quote
What a friendly playful wee creature, almost like a water living dog... I always imagined them to be retiring shy beasties.
Mostly they are, but these ones in captivity clearly like the hand that feeds them.
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