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Venomous Mammals


The duck billed platypus lays eggs but it’s still a mammal - a monotreme to be exact. There is only one species. They are not currently considered endangered.

It is a very unique animal, becaus it looks like a cross between a duck (beak), beaver (tail, feet), bear (claws) and otter (fur). Male duck billed platypuses have venomous spines on their back legs.

Platypus Platypus - Photo: worldswildlifewonders/Shutterstock


Are Platypuses Dangerous?

Not to humans. However, wounds can swell up and cause pain for several weeks. But things can be different for animals like dogs and cats. An animal of this size may even die from this mammal’s venom.

Dog and cat owners outside of Australia and Tasmania can breathe a sigh of relief though. The duck billed platypus only lives in these areas, and cats and dogs are often a risk to them rather than the other way around. They also only produce the toxin during mating season.


Importance for the Ecosystem

The duck billed platypus plays an important role in the balance of nature. It makes sure that crabs, insect larvae and worms don’t reproduce too quickly. Here you can find our platypus profile. By the way, the platypus is not the only monotreme. Here you can find out more about the echidna!

Platypus Platypus - Photo: John CarnemollaShutterstock



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