It’s hot during the day so the kids and I just stay in our burrow in the cool. Our home never gets hotter than 18 degrees inside during the summer – even though outside is over 30 degrees!
It gets a bit stuffy in here with the three of us. Luckily platypus blood can cope with only a little oxygen like this. That ability to do without too much oxygen helps us swim underwater as well. Our heart rates drop too. When I’m diving, my blood supply reduces to every part of me except my heart, brain and muscles.
The children play outside when it’s cooler. Sometimes at dawn and dusk, they come and play in the water while I am feeding. They love splashing in the shallow water on the edge of the creek.
What happened in February? Find out more about the adventures of Pebbles the Platypus...
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I’ve got good eyes and ears when I’m floating on top of the water. But how do I find my way under the water to get food? It’s my bill. You get your human information about your world from your eyes, ears or nose; I get information about my underwater world through my bill. I have special sense organs all over my muzzle. Some respond to touch, some respond to electrical fields.
When I’m under the water, I swing my head from side to side. I pick up water movements from rocks and logs and the like. Worms and larvae and shrimps send out little electric fields when they use their muscles. My bill picks those up and tells me where to hunt. And a good job too!