Platypus – The Shy Guy

I recently had two weeks holidays at Airlie Beach, Queensland which is one of the stopovers for visiting the beautiful Great Barrier Reef. Though I didn’t actually go to any of the islands this trip, (years ago I spent a great deal of time exploring the Great Barrier Reef islands while cruising on a 40 ft yacht with my husband and two young children), I did visit the Mackay region hinterland which boasts beautiful waterfalls and great walking tracks. Eungella National Park has a lovely river called Broken River that meanders through it. Whilst visiting Eungella National Park, I was fortunate to see one of the resident platypii up early one morning searching for his breakfast. It was very exciting seeing him fossicking around. I managed to get a good shot of him swimming and below is a photo of him surfacing with a lazy old turtle sunning himself on the log.

Platypus Information - Bill like a duck, tail like a beaver, it has fur and lays eggs.The Platypus is certainly one of the most extraordinary animals found in Australia. It lives in burrows dug into the banks of lakes and streams in Eastern Australia and Tasmania. Although its bill resembles that of a duck, it is quite different – it is pliable, like soft, moist rubber and very sensitive. The Platypus feeds mainly on tadpoles, small fish, larvae and water snails which it sucks up like a vacuum cleaner. When at the surface, the Platypus opens its nostrils and eyes, both of which are closed under water. This shy creature has very sharp eyesight. It is rarely seen in the wild and some have suggested that is because it doesn’t like to be laughed at – but the truth is it prefers a quiet life.

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