A-z - Animals

Platypus Baby: 5 Puggle Pictures and 5 Facts

Updated: November 1, 2022

© iStock.com/IainStych

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You know the platypus was considered a joke when it was first discovered? People think they've been tricked by having two animals stitched together; that's what makes a platypus unique! There is a lot to learn about these one-of-a-kind creatures.

For example, did you know that the little platypus is called a "puggle"? Another juvenile Australian mammal that has also been given this moniker is the echidna. In the future, it's debatable whether this cute baby name can be changed to "platypup" (for the platypus, at least).

But for now, we're glad the Platypus is able to keep its title. Here are five pictures and interesting facts about the platypus.

#1: The Platypus Pug Can’t Swim

baby platypus siblings
Newborn platypus cannot swim.

©iStock.com/IainStych

An adult pug platypus can swim at speeds of up to two and a half miles per hour! Would you believe that a platypus can't swim at all when it's born? Although it may appear that they are born in water, young platypus are born very fragile and cannot swim on their own.

They are close to their mother, who teaches them everything they need to grow and survive. This includes how to become a fast swimmer. They have a beaver-like tail that is used to guide them around. Pair that with webbed feet and you have the perfect recipe for a fast swim!

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When pug platypus are about five months old, they can swim and find food resources on their own.

#2: Male platypus babies are poisonous

Baby platypus swimming
The male platypus is one of only six species of venomous mammals on Earth.

© iStock.com/Kevin Wells

There are only six species of venomous mammals on Earth, and the male platypus happens to be one. Male platypuses have a "stinger" on the back of their hind legs that secretes venom.

Previously, it was widely believed that this was used to ward off predators in the wild. However, we've learned that around mating season, they produce more venom than usual. This finding has led many to believe that the venom is meant to help males during mating season.

#3: Baby Platypus Has No Stomach

little platypus eating
Platypus has no stomach.

©iStock.com/JohnCarnemolla

Did you know that cows have four stomachs? Or is there a maximum of 9 beaked whales? It's crazy to think animals have multiple stomachs when baby platypuses are born without a single stomach. Instead of going down their stomachs, what they eat goes straight into their intestines.

Researchers have repeatedly studied the reasons for the absence of a stomach. Still, the main conclusion is that the platypus pug's diet was so simple that evolution decided it didn't need a stomach.

#4: Baby platypus born with a set of temporary teeth

Baby platypus in natural habitat
Platypus babies are born with a set of temporary teeth.

©iStock.com/markrhiggins

The female platypus dug a tunnel to use as a nursery for her young. There she lays her eggs, then sleeps on top of them while they are busy hatching. Like many other babies who must hatch from eggs, they are born with so-called egg teeth that help them escape their shell cage.

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After about four months of being cooped up in nursery with their mum, they were finally able to come out for their first swim. Around this four-month mark, these babies lose all their teeth and never get them back. Adult pug platypus actually use gravel or small rocks to scoop into their mouths to help them "chew" their food.

#5: Baby Platypus Born Hairless

Baby platypus underwater
Platypus are born hairless.

© iStock.com/slowmotiongli

The little platypus has fur to keep its skin dry while spending most of its time in water. It is said that the platypus can be submerged in water for hours, but when they come ashore, the fur is completely dry.

This is the complete opposite of platypus babies, as they hatch without any hair at all. At about four months old, when they are ready to leave the tunnel their mother dug for them, they have grown a full coat of hair to protect their skin. The platypus' fur even glows under a UV black light!

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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

How much does a platypus baby weigh?

When a platypus is born, it is very small and fragile. When first hatched, platypus babies are the size of a nickel and weigh between 50 and 80 grams. The cubs are sickly and cannot swim, so they are kept by their mother for about 3 to 4 months.

What do baby platypus eat?

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Baby platypus are unique in that they can lay eggs like oviparous animals and milk their young like mammals. Due to their uniqueness, they do not have any nipples to feed their babies. New mothers sweat the milk out of their bodies, platypus babies drink milk that accumulates in the grooves of their mother's skin, and they suck milk out of their mother's hair.

Where does the little platypus live?

Generally, platypuses live in fresh water, and only in one part of the world. Adult platypus spend most of their time in the water, but they do like to head to the banks so they can get busy digging their own tunnels and chambers in these tunnels. Platypus babies stay with their mothers for the first 3 to 4 months of life to feed and protect them until they are strong enough to do these tasks on their own. During that time, their mom taught them how to swim, find food, dig tunnels to live in, and more!

What is the little platypus called?

Small platypus are called puggles. However, there are many in the movement calling for a name change for the pug. Platypups is one member of the movement who thinks it should be officially changed to a cute name, and with good reason!

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