We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: with its bird, rat, beaver and reptile features the platypus is definitely one of the world’s most intriguing animals

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: with its bird, rat, beaver and reptile features the platypus is definitely one of the world’s most intriguing animals. And just one of its more surprising features is its poisonous spur on the hind legs of each male, making it the most poisonous mammal in the world.

There are four other poisonous mammals (all shrews), but none of them are dangerous to humans. The platypus spur, however, is capable of delivering a painful dose because its spur can penetrate so deeply and cause severe swelling (but don’t worry – it won’t kill you).

The platypus is hard to spot; it sleeps in a burrow during the day and hunts at night. Two great spots for getting a good look are Broken River near Mackay or Adelaide’s Warrawong Earth Sanctuary.

Where // Platypi (platypuses?) hang out in streams, rivers and lakes in Tas, Vic, NSW and Qld.

Did you know? // With sonar capabilities similar to dolphins, the platypus can determine the distance to its prey by using electroreceptors in its bill.

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