noun \ˈpla-ti-pəs, -ˌps\

: a small animal from Australia that has a bill like the bill of a duck, webbed feet, and a wide flat tail

plural platy·pus·es also platy·pi \-ˌpī, -ˌpē\

Full Definition of PLATYPUS

:  a small carnivorous aquatic monotreme mammal (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) of eastern Australia and Tasmania that has a fleshy bill resembling that of a duck, dense fur, webbed feet, and a broad flattened tail —called also duck-billed platypus

Illustration of PLATYPUS

Origin of PLATYPUS

New Latin, from Greek platypous flat-footed, from platys broad, flat + pous foot — more at place, foot
First Known Use: 1799

Rhymes with PLATYPUS


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Monotreme amphibious mammal (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) of lakes and streams in eastern Australia and Tasmania. About 23 in. (60 cm) long, the squat-bodied platypus has a ducklike snout, short legs, webbed feet, and a beaverlike tail. Each day it eats nearly its own weight in crustaceans, fishes, frogs, mollusks, tadpoles, and earthworms; lacking teeth, it crushes its food with ridges in the bill. The female lays one to three eggs in a nest in a long twisting passage above the waterline. The young are weaned about four months after hatching. The male's heel bears a spur connected to a poison-secreting gland. Large fishes and perhaps snakes prey on platypuses. Formerly trapped for their dense, soft fur, they are now protected by law.

Variants of PLATYPUS

platypus or duckbill


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