As you probably know, last week I went to David Fleays Wildlife Park, and if you didn’t know that, maybe you’d like to read my post called A Kangaroo? In a Tree?
Anyway, Mr Fleay himself was most famous for being the first man to successfully breed a platypus in captivity. Others had tried, David was the first to make it happen, way back in 1943.
I have written about the platypus before in my post called Monotremes, Platypus, Echidna and Pullenvale. If you don’t already know, you can find out from there what monotreme actually means.
That post was written nearly 3 years ago, and in it I said that I would really love to see a platypus for real and take a photograph for you, admitting it wouldn’t be easy because they are very shy animals.
But what I didn’t mention in the article, although I think I have said it elsewhere somewhere on this blog, is the male platypus is also venomous.
Being a venomous mammal is a very rare thing indeed, only a few shrews and the European mole can claim the same. The platypus’ venom is not lethal to humans, but it can cause paralysis and sometimes muscle wastage. It is also, apparently, extremely painful!
Anyway, down at the wildlife park, they had a pair of platypuses in a large fish tank; surely I could snag my photo?
The tank was situated in the nocturnal room, so it was pretty dark in there. No flash photography allowed either. This was the best I got…
Anyway, I wasn’t too concerned, the photo of the platypus I really want is one where my subject is in the wild, living naturally.
Like these people who were lucky enough to see a not so shy baby platypus paddling around in the Blue Mountains near Australia. Me thinks they do not know how painful a platypus sting can be…..