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Panorama of a Safari Park field exhibit with giraffes, water buffalo, and rhinos

Platypus

Platypus

Platypus

With a duck-like bill, a fur coat, big webbed feet, and a paddle-shaped tail, the platypus looks like no other mammal. And even more unusual: this mammal lays eggs. The platypus is a monotreme (like the echidna), which lays eggs, incubates them, and nurses its young when they hatch. Found only in Australia (in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, and Tasmania), the platypus lives in freshwater habitats, including streams and ponds. It forages about 12 hours a day, eating shellfish, worms, and insect larvae—and it must consume the equivalent of about 20 percent of its body weight each day. The platypus locates food by using electroreceptors in its soft bill, which detect their prey's movements.

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