Monotremes, Platypus, Echidna and Pullenvale

After yesterdays first post about snakes, I thought I would follow up with a post that reminds you again of the diversity of Australian wildlife and the beauty it can offer.

“Daddy, what’s a monotreme?”

It’s always a little embarrassing when one of your children asks you a question which you cannot answer. I doubt if you have ever been asked the question “Daddy, what’s a monotreme?” and as it stands at today’s date, neither have I.

But one day it might happen to you, and if it does, you can congratulate yourself for being a regular reader of the BobinOz blog. It is more likely though, that the question will be asked of me. And it may even take the form of “what’s that?” Because monotremes live up the road.

What’s up the road? Pullenvale. What are monotremes? They are platypus and echidna. See how that crazy title is all coming together now? Here is a platypus……

platypusImage Courtesy of richardfisher

And here is an echidna…..

echidnaImage courtesy of ausemade

About a year ago I went on a family day out, they have a lot of those out here, to a nature day over at Pullenvale. We went on a nature trail, tried to identify 20 of the local species, and there were some stalls and stuff.

Running one of the stalls was the president of the Pullen Pullen Catchment Group Inc (PPCG), a local volunteer landcare group. In a moment of sheer impulse, I found myself handing over my ($10 I think) subscription for one years membership. As a result, I get their quarterly newsletter. It was their latest newsletter which put me on to monotremes. I thank them for this education.

  • Monotremes are the most primitive form of mammal.
  • They are platypus (one species) and echidna (four species).
  • They only live in Australia and New Guinea.
  • Monotreme means only one hole. In medical terms that means they wee, poop and give birth through the one orifice.
  • The Pullen Pullen Catchment is home to both platypus and echidna.

Yes, the platypus is also known as the duck billed platypus and the echidna is more commonly known as the spiny anteater.

Platypus means bill and echidna means beak. Now, of course, I want to see one for real and take a photograph for you all. It won’t be easy apparently, they are quite shy. Perhaps I will need to go on a ramble with the PPCG, instead of just reading their newsletter once a quarter. We’ll see.

There, that’s taken your mind off of the snakes. Dang! Shouldn’t have said that should I?

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