Do platy­puses re­ally sweat milk?

Focus-Science and Technology - - Q & A - JENNY PETER­SON, ELLESMERE PORT LV

They se­crete milk from spe­cialised mam­mary glands, just like hu­mans and other mam­mals. But platy­puses don’t have teats, so the milk just oozes from the sur­face of their skin. This makes it look like sweat, but in fact platy­puses are aquatic and don’t pro­duce reg­u­lar sweat at all. Since this de­liv­ery sys­tem is less hy­gienic than the di­rect nip­ple-in­mouth method, platy­pus milk con­tains pow­er­ful an­tibac­te­rial pro­teins to pro­tect the ba­bies from ill­ness. Th­ese pro­teins may be a use­ful source of fu­ture an­tibi­otics.

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