PLATYPUS (ORNITHORHYNCHUS)

CLASSIFICATION OF PLATYPUS (ORNITHORHYNCHUS)

PHYLUM :- CHORDATA (Notochord, dorsal tubular nerve cord present and gill slits present)

Group :- CRANIATA ( Definite head. Cranium with brain present)

Sub-phylum :- VERTEBRATA (vertebral column present)

Division :- GNATHOSTOMATA (Jaws and paired appendages present)

Super class :-  TETRAPODA (Paired limbs, lungs, bony skeleton and cornified skin).

Class :-MAMMALIA (Body covered with hairs. females have mammary glands).

Sub-class :- PROTOTHERIA (Egg laying mammals).

Order :- MONOTREMATA (Cloaca present). 

Genus : Ornithorhynchus

GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION

  • Found in South Eastern Australia and Tasmania

HABIT AND HABITAT

  • It is a native of rivers, pools and creeks, It burrows to 12 to 15 metres along the river banks, It feeds on fresh-water invertebrates, carried in cheek pouches.
ORNITHORHYNCHUS : PLATYPUS

GENERAL CHARACTERSTICS OF PLATYPUS (ORNITHORHYNCHUS)

  • Commonly called duck-bill-platypus.
  • It measures about 50 cm in length having fine short fur, dark brown colour and combines the characters of a duck with a mammal.
  • Body is divided into head, thick trunk and tail, Body and tail contain soft hairs.
  • Head distinct. Upper jaw produced to form a flattened beak which is covered with a smooth, hairless skin that forms a free fold at the base of the beak. Head contains nostril mouth and external ear opening.
  • Jaws covered with horny plates with out teeth. Pinnae absent.
  • Forelimbs and hind limbs have 5 digits, web and clawed toes. Hind limb has horny spur. Tail flattened and adapted for swimming.
  • Coracoid and precoracoid present. T-shaped interclavicle.
  • Eyes small having nictitating membrane. Mammary glands without nipples.
  • Cloaca present. Ureter open in dorsal wall of urinogenital passage. Testes abdominal, penis conducts only sperms. Oviducts distinct, uterus or vagina absent.
  • Female makes nest of roots and leaves during spring in burrows, lays 1-3 eggs. About 05 cm long young one is hatched. It nurses by lapping up milk secreted by scattered mammary glands on the abdomen of female.

ORNITHORHYNCHUS : PLATYPUS

Special features

  • Ornithorhynchus : Platypus is an egg-laying mammal and exhibits reptilian, mammalian and intermediate characters. Reptilian features are urinogenital system, pre coracoids, absence of pinna and corpus callosum. Mammalian features include hair, diaphragm, 4-chambered heart, 3-car ossicles, etc. Intermediate features include mammary glands without nipples, acromion spines in the scapulae and body temperature between 25 28°C is imperfect thermoregulator.

Identification

  • This mammal has flat bill and above features, hence it is Ornithorhynchus : Duck- Bill Platypus.
ORNITHORHYNCHUS : PLATYPUS
ORNITHORHYNCHUS : PLATYPUS
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