Platypus: Otter + Beaver + Duck = Cute
Gliding around the waters of eastern Australia and parts of Tasmania is a small, semi-aquatic, egg-laying mammal with the tail of a beaver, the body of an otter, and the webbed feet and beak of a bird. It’s a duck-billed platypus! Since they lay eggs, platypuses are hatched rather than born, unlike most other mammals (in fact, along with the echidna, they’re one of the only two mammals that don’t birth live young). When a mother platypus is ready to lay her eggs she digs a deep tunnel called a nursery burrow to protect them from predators. Like many reptiles, baby platypuses grow a temporary egg tooth to help them break out of their shell. Once hatched, an infant platypus is about the size of a lima bean! However, they grow up to be about 18 inches (45.7 cm) in length and weigh around 3 pounds (3.3 kg). As adults, platypuses are shy animals that like to spend most of their time alone sleeping; and eating their favorite foods, such as bug larvae, shellfish, and worms.