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Deadly Australians – Platypus

November 22, 2007

Australian Platypus
Photo: Platypus – Ornithorhynchus anatinus – George Agnew

On the back legs of mature male Platypuses are short spurs that can inject a highly complex venom which results in extreme pain. This venom is not only resistant to morphine, it can cause nausea that can sometimes last for weeks. The victims of Platypus venom are few and far between but the degree of pain and it’s possible effects on susceptible people makes the Platypus’s inclusion into this list logical. This egg laying monotrem is one of only two on the planet, the other being the Echidna which is also found in Australia.

It’s a rear and joyful occurrence to see either of these creatures in the ‘bush’. Neither of these creatures are the type that one could nor should try to pat, the Platypus because you are unlikely to get close enough and even if you did you should consider risk management questions, whilst the Echidna is the equivalent of a porcupine… not much value in patting that is there?

Website: George Agnew’s great Platypus site

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