The platypus, Ornithorhynchus anatinus is found in fresh water streams along the eastern seaboard of Australia from Cooktown, in northern Queensland, to Tasmania. It is an unusual looking, furry mammal with a bill like a duck, webbed feet with claws (used for digging burrows), and a paddle -like tail for swimming. The male has spurs on its hind legs connected to venom glands. Venom injection causes excruciating, long-lasting pain needing hospital admission and treatment. Although never fatal in humans, death has occurred in hunting dogs.
Article Categories:Dictionary of Tropical Medicine