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Duck-Billed Platypus: Ornithorhynchidae

Conservation Status

Platypus are considered "common but vulnerable" by the government of Australia. It is plentiful in some areas, but is considered vulnerable due to habitat destruction from dams, irrigation projects, being caught in fish nets and lines, and water pollution.

Platypus are strictly protected by law and harsh penalties in Australia, which is agreeable with most, if not all, Australians, since the animals are not pests and are now national emblems. The Australian government and private groups like the Australian Platypus Conservancy keep close eyes on platypus populations and have proposed relocating some of the urban platypus to suitable natural areas where they have been driven from by development in the past.



Augie, M. L. Platypus and Echidnas. Mosman, Australia: The Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales, 1992.

Moyal, Ann Mozley. Platypus: The Extraordinary Story of How a Curious Creature Baffled the World. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 2001.

Short, Joan. Platypus. New York: Mondo Publishing, 1997.


Hughes, R.L. and L. S. Hall. "Early Development and Embryology of the Platypus." Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London 347 (1998): 1101–1114.

Musser, A. M. "Evolution, Biogeography and Paleontology of the Ornithorhynchidae." Australian Mammalogy 20 (1998): 147–162.

Pettigrew, J.D., P. R. Manger, and S. L. B. Fine. "The Sensory World of the Platypus." Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London 347 (1998): 1199–1210.

Siegel, J. M., P. R. Manger, R. Nienhuis, H. M. Fahringer, and J. D. Pettigrew. "Monotremes and the Evolution of Rapid Eye Movement Sleep." Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London 347 (1998): 1147–1157.

Strahan, R. and D. E. Thomas. "Courtship of the Platypus, Ornithorhynchus anatinus." Australian Zoologist 18, 165–178. 1975.

Web sites:

What is A Platypus? and Other Quandries: Platypus Online Resource Guide. http://www.platypuscomputing.com/rglinks.html (accessed on June 29, 2004).

Australian Platypus Conservancy. http://www.totalretail.com/platypus (accessed on June 29, 2004).

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceMammalsDuck-Billed Platypus: Ornithorhynchidae - Physical Characteristics, Diet, Behavior And Reproduction, Platypus And People, Conservation Status - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT