What is a platypus? — Mackenzie, 9, OH
A duck-billed platypus is a freshwater mammal that’s native to Australia. They sort of look like a mix between a beaver and duck, so they’re easily identified by their long, flat snout, which helps them move through water. Since they spend so much time in water, they also have webbed feet and their beaver-like tail helps them steer their bodies through the water — how cool! To make them extra-unique, the platypus is one of only five mammals in the world that lay eggs. An adult platypus can grow up to 1.4 feet long and weigh only three pounds. A male platypus also has a venomous stinger on his rear feet that helps him defend himself from predators.