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Platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) Fact Sheet: Bibliography & Resources


Anich PS, Anthony S, Carlson M, Gunnelson A, Kohler AM, Martin JG, Olson ER. 2020. Biofluorescence in the platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus). Mammalia. Ahead of print. doi:10.1515/mammalia-2020-0027.

Asahara M, Koizumi M, Macrini TE, Hand SJ, Archer M. 2016. Comparative cranial morphology in living and extinct platypuses: Feeding behavior, electroreception, and loss of teeth. Sci Adv. 2:e1601329-1601329. doi:10.1126/sciadv.1601329.

Ashwell KWS, Hardman CD. 2012. Distinct development of the cerebral cortex in platypus and echidna. Brain Behav Evol. 79:57–72. doi:10.1159/000334188.

Augee M, Gooden B, Musser A. 2006. Echidna: extraordinary egg-laying mammal. Collingwood, VIC (Australia): CSIRO Publishing (Australian natural history series).

Australian Platypus Conservancy. 2016. Zoos: captive maintenance and breeding at zoos. Aust Platypus Conserv. [accessed 2018 Jul 3].

Barrett C. 1941. The world’s wonder animal: the platypus. Melbourne (Australia): Robertson and Mullens.

Bethge P, Munks S, Otley H, Nicol S. 2003. Diving behaviour, dive cycles and aerobic dive limit in the platypus Ornithorhynchus anatinus. Comp Biochem Physiol A Mol Integr Physiol. 136:799–809. doi:10.1016/S1095-6433(03)00198-3.

Bino G, Grant TR, Kingsford RT. 2015. Life history and dynamics of a platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) population: four decades of mark-recapture surveys. Sci Rep. 5:16073 (13 pages). doi:10.1038/srep16073.

Bino G, Kingsford RT, Archer M, Connolly JH, Day J, Dias K, Goldney D, Gongora J, Grant T, Griffiths J, et al. 2019. The platypus: evolutionary history, biology, and an uncertain future. J Mammal. 100(2):308–327. doi:10.1093/jmammal/gyz058.

Bino G, Kingsford RT, Wintle BA. 2020. A stitch in time – synergistic impacts to platypus metapopulation extinction risk. Biological Conservation. 242:108399. doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2019.108399.

Booth R, Connolly J. 2008. Platypuses. In: Vogelnest L, Woods R, editors. Medicine of Australian mammals. Collingwood (VIC, Australia): CSIRO Publishing. p. 103–132.

Brice PH. 2009. Thermoregulation in monotremes: riddles in a mosaic. Aust J Zool. 57:255–263. doi:10.1071/ZO09039.

Bridges W. (undated). The duck-billed platypus: “most wonderful of all living mammals.” In: The platypus and the echidna. Vol. 9. New York (NY): Department of Education, New York Zoological Society. p. 1–6.

Burbidge AA, McKenzie NL. 1989. Patterns in the modern decline of western Australia’s vertebrate fauna: causes and conservation implications. Biol Conserv. 50:143–198. doi:10.1016/0006-3207(89)90009-8.

Burrell H. 1927. The platypus: its discovery, zoological position, form and characteristics, habits, life history, etc. Sydney (Australia): Angus & Robertson.

Carter HB. 1965. Variation in the hair follicle population of the mammalian skin. In: Lyne AG, Short BF, editors. Biology of the skin and hair growth: proceedings of a symposium held at Canberra, Australia, August 1964. Australian Academy of Science; Canberra, Australia. New York (NY): Elsevier. p. 25-33.

Connolly JH. 2015. Mucormycosis in the platypus and amphibians caused by Mucor amphibiorum. Microbiol Aust. 36:83–87. doi:10.1071/MA15027.

Crandall LS. 1964. Family Ornithorhynchidae: platypus or duckbill. In: The management of wild mammals in captivity. Chicago (IL): University of Chicago Press. p. 7–18.

Cushing N, Markwell K. 2009. Platypus diplomacy: animal gifts in international relations. J Aust Stud. 33:255–271. doi:10.1080/14443050903079664.

Czech-Damal NU, Dehnhardt G, Manger P, Hanke W. 2013. Passive electroreception in aquatic mammals. J Comp Physiol A. 199:555–563. doi:10.1007/s00359-012-0780-8.

De-La-Warr M, Serena M. 1999. Observations of platypus Ornithorhynchus anatinus mating behaviour. Vic Nat. 116:172–174.

Enjapoori AK, Grant TR, Nicol SC, Lefèvre CM, Nicholas KR, Sharp JA. 2014. Monotreme lactation protein is highly expressed in monotreme milk and provides antimicrobial protection. Genome Biol Evol. 6:2754–2773. doi:10.1093/gbe/evu209.

Evans BK, Jones DR, Baldwin J, Gabbott GRJ. 1994. Diving ability of the platypus. Aust J Zool. 42:17–27. doi:10.1071/ZO9940017.

Faragher RA, Grant TR, Carrick FN. 1979. Food of the platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) with notes on the food of brown trout (Salmo trutta) in the Shoalhaven River, N.S.W. Austral Ecol. 4:171–179. doi:10.1111/j.1442-9993.1979.tb01207.x.

Fenner PJ, Williamson JA, Myers D. 1992. Platypus envenomation - a painful learning experience. Med J Aust. 157:829–832.

Ferner K, Schultz JA, Zeller U. 2017. Comparative anatomy of neonates of the three major mammalian groups (monotremes, marsupials, placentals) and implications for the ancestral mammalian neonate morphotype. J Anat. 231:798–822. doi:10.1111/joa.12689.

Fish FE, Baudinette RV, Frappell PB, Sarre MP. 1997. Energetics of swimming by the platypus Ornithorhynchus anatinus: metabolic effort associated with rowing. J Exp Biol. 200:2647–2652.

Fjallbrant TT, Manger PR, Pettigrew JD. 1998. Some related aspects of platypus electroreception: temporal integration behaviour, electroreceptive thresholds and directionality of the bill acting as an antenna. Philos Trans R Soc B Biol Sci. 353:1211–1219. doi:10.1098/rstb.1998.0277.

Fleay D. 1944a. We breed the platypus. Melbourne (Australia): Robertson and Mullens.

Fleay D. 1944b. The birth of a baby platypus. Anim Kingd. 47(3):50-69.

Fleay D. 1958. Paul, Pamela, and Patty -- platypuses in the zoo again! Anim Kingd. Jul/Aug:98–108.

Furlan E, Griffiths J, Gust N, Armistead R, Mitrovski P, Handasyde KA, Serena M, Hoffmann AA, Weeks AR. 2011. Is body size variation in the platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) associated with environmental variables? Aust J Zool. 59:201–215. doi:10.1071/ZO11056.

Furlan E, Stoklosa J, Griffiths J, Gust N, Ellis R, Huggins RM, Weeks AR. 2012. Small population size and extremely low levels of genetic diversity in island populations of the platypus, Ornithorhynchus anatinus. Ecol Evol. 2:844–857. doi:10.1002/ece3.195.

Furlan E, Umina PA, Mitrovski PJ, Gust N, Griffiths J, Weeks AR. 2010. High levels of genetic divergence between Tasmanian and Victorian platypuses, Ornithorhynchus anatinus, as revealed by microsatellite loci. Conserv Genet. 11:319–323. doi:10.1007/s10592-009-0012-0.

Furlan EM, Griffiths J, Gust N, Handasyde KA, Grant TR, Gruber B, Weeks AR. 2013. Dispersal patterns and population structuring among platypuses, Ornithorhynchus anatinus, throughout south-eastern Australia. Conserv Genet. 14:837–853. doi:10.1007/s10592-013-0478-7.

Gates GR, Saunders JC, Bock GR, Aitkin LM, Elliott MA. 1974. Peripheral auditory function in the platypus, Ornithorhynchus anatinus. J Acoust Soc Am. 56:152–156. doi:10.1121/1.1903246.

Gongora J, Swan AB, Chong AY, Ho SYW, Damayanti CS, Kolomyjec S, Grant T, Miller E, Blair D, Furlan E, et al. 2012. Genetic structure and phylogeography of platypuses revealed by mitochondrial DNA. J Zool. 286:110–119. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7998.2011.00854.x.

Grant T. 2007. Platypus. 4th ed. Collingwood, VIC (Australia): CSIRO Publishing.

Grant TR. 1992. Historical and current distribution of the platypus, Ornithorhynchus anatinus, in Australia. In: Augee ML, editor. Platypus and echidnas. Sydney (Australia): Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales. p. 232–254.

Grant TR. 2004. Captures, capture mortality, age and sex ratios of platypuses, Ornithorhynchus anatinus, during studies over 30 years in the upper Shoalhaven River in New South Wales. In: Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales. Vol. 124. Sydney (Australia): Linnean Society of New South Wales. p. 217–226.

Grant TR. 2015. Family Ornithorhynchidae (platypus). In: Wilson DE, Mittermeier RA, editors. Handbook of the mammals of the world: marsupials and monotremes (volume 5). Barcelona (Spain): Lynx Edicions. p. 58–67.

Grant TR, Dawson TJ. 1978. Temperature regulation in the platypus, Ornithorhynchus anatinus: maintenance of body temperature in air and water. Physiol Zool. 51:1–6. doi:10.1086/physzool.51.1.30158659.

Grant TR, Griffiths M. 1992. Aspects of lactation and determination of sex ratios and longevity in a free-ranging population of platypuses, Ornithorhynchus anatinus, in the Shoalhaven River, NSW. In: Augee ML, editor. Platypus and echidnas. Sydney (Australia): Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales. p. 80–92.

Grant TR, Griffiths M, Temple-Smith PD. 2004. Breeding in a free-ranging population of platypuses, Ornithorhynchus anatinus, in the Upper Shoalhaven River, New South Wales — a 27 year study. In: Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales. Vol. 124. Sydney (Australia): Linnean Society of New South Wales. p. 227–234.

Grant TR, Temple-Smith. 2003. Conservation of the platypus, Ornithorhynchus anatinus: threats and challenges. Aquat Ecosyst Health 6:5-18. doi:10.1080/14634980390151538.

Griffiths M. 1978. The biology of monotremes. New York: Academic Press.

Gruber JW. 1991. Does the platypus lay eggs? The history of an event in science. Arch Nat Hist 18:51-123. doi:10.3366/anh.1991.18.1.51.

Gust N, Griffiths J. 2009. Platypus mucormycosis and its conservation implications. Australas Mycol. 28:1–8.

Gust N, Griffiths J. 2010. Tasmanian platypus management plan. Hobart (Australia): State of Tasmania, Biodiversity Conservation Branch. Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment. [accessed 2018 Apr 27].

Hawke T, Bino G, Kingsford RT. 2019. A silent demise: Historical insights into population changes of the iconic platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus). Global Ecology and Conservation. 20:e00720. doi:10.1016/j.gecco.2019.e00720.

Hawkins M, Battaglia A. 2009. Breeding behaviour of the platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) in captivity. Aust J Zool. 57:283–293. doi:10.1071/ZO09090.

Hawkins M, Fanning D. 1992. Courtship and mating behaviour of captive platypuses at Taronga Zoo. In: Augee ML, editor. Platypus and echidnas. Sydney (Australia): Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales. p. 106–114.

Hobbins P. 2015. A spur to atavism: placing platypus poison. J Hist Biol. 48:499–537. doi:10.1007/s10739-015-9409-4.

Holland N, Jackson SM. 2002. Reproductive behaviour and food consumption associated with the captive breeding of platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus). J Zool. 256:279–288. doi:10.1017/S0952836902000328.

Hughes RL, Carrick FN, Shorey CD. 1975. Reproduction in the platypus, Ornithorhynchus anatinus, with particular reference to the evolution of viviparity. In: Bindon BM, editor. Proceedings of the Australian Society for Reproductive Biology. Sixth annual conference; 1974 Aug 26-28; University of Melbourne. J Reprod Fert 43:374-375.

Integrated Taxonomic Information System database (ITIS) [Internet]. 2018. Ornithorhynchus anatinus. TSN 552524. [updated 2017 Nov 08; accessed 2018 Mar 16].

Jackson S. 2003. Platypus (Chapter 1). In: Australian mammals: biology and captive management. Collingwood, VIC (Australia): CSIRO Publishing. p. 1-32.

Jackson S, Groves C. 2015. Family Ornithorhynchidae. In: Taxonomy of Australian Mammals. Collingwood, VIC (Australia): CSIRO Publishing. p. 35–37.

Klamt M, Davis JA, Thompson RM, Marchant R, Grant TR. 2016. Trophic relationships of the platypus: insights from stable isotope and cheek pouch dietary analyses. Mar Freshw Res. 67:1196–1204. doi:10.1071/MF15004.

Klamt M, Thompson R, Davis J. 2011. Early response of the platypus to climate warming. Glob Change Biol. 17:3011–3018. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2486.2011.02472.x.

Koch N, Munks SA, Utesch M, Davies PE, McIntosh PD. 2006. The platypus Ornithorhynchus anatinus in headwater streams, and effects of pre-Code forest clearfelling, in the South Esk River catchment, Tasmania, Australia. Aust Zool. 33:458–473. doi:10.7882/AZ.2006.018.

Koh JMS, Bansal PS, Torres AM, Kuchel PW. 2009. Platypus venom: source of novel compounds. Aust J Zool. 57:203–210. doi:10.1071/ZO09040.

Kolomyjec SH, Chong JYT, Blair D, Gongora J, Grant TR, Johnson CN, Moran C. 2009. Population genetics of the platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus): a fine-scale look at adjacent river systems. Aust J Zool. 57:225–234. doi:10.1071/ZO09045.

Kruuk H. 1993. The diving behaviour of the platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) in waters with different trophic status. J Appl Ecol. 30:592–598. doi:10.2307/2404239.

Lunn T, Macgregor J, Munks S, Carver S. 2016. Dermatophilus congolensis infection in platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus), Tasmania, Australia, 2015. J Wildl Dis. 52:965–967. doi:10.7589/2016-02-030R.

Macgregor JW, Holyoake C, Munks S, Connolly JH, Robertson ID, Fleming PA, Lonsdale RA, Warren K. 2016. Assessing body condition in the platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus): a comparison of new and old methods. Aust J Zool. 64:421–429. doi:10.1071/ZO16071.

Macgregor JW, Holyoake CS, Munks SA, Connolly JH, Robertson ID, Fleming PA, Warren KS. 2017. Investigation into individuals health and exposure to infectious agents of playpuses (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) in two river catchments in northwest Tasmania. J Wildl Dis. 53:258–271. doi:10.7589/2015-12-335.

Madsen O. 2009. Mammals (Mammalia). In: Hedges SB, Kumar S, editors. The timetree of life. Oxford (UK): Oxford University Press. p. 459–461.

Manger PR, Hall LS, Pettigrew JD. 1998. The development of the external features of the platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus). Philos Trans R Soc B Biol Sci. 353:1115–1125. doi:10.1098/rstb.1998.0270.

Manger PR, Pettigrew JD. 1996. Ultrastructure, number, distribution and innervation of electroreceptors and mechanoreceptors in the bill skin of the platypus, Ornithorhynchus anatinus. Brain Behav Evol. 48:27–54. doi:10.1159/000113185.

Marchant R, Grant TR. 2015. The productivity of the macroinvertebrate prey of the platypus in the upper Shoalhaven River, New South Wales. Mar Freshw Res. 66:1128–1137. doi:10.1071/MF14301.

Marchant S, Higgins PJ, editors. 1993. Aquila audax Wedge-tailed Eagle. In: Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic Birds. Vol. 2. Melbourne (Australia): Oxford University Press. p. 164–180.

Martin EH, Walsh CJ, Serena M, Webb JA. 2014. Urban stormwater runoff limits distribution of platypus: Stormwater Limits Platypus Distribution. Austral Ecol. 39:337–345. doi:10.1111/aec.12083.

McColl KA. 1983. Pathology in captive platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) in Victoria, Australia. J Wildl Dis. 19:118–122. doi:10.7589/0090-3558-19.2.118.

McLachlan-Troup TA, Dickman CR, Grant TR. 2010. Diet and dietary selectivity of the platypus in relation to season, sex and macroinvertebrate assemblages. J Zool. 280:237–246. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7998.2009.00645.x.

McLachlan-Troup TA, Nicol SC, Dickman CR. 2020. Platypus predation has differential effects on aquatic invertebrates in contrasting stream and lake ecosystems. Sci Rep. 10(1):13043. doi:10.1038/s41598-020-69957-1.

Morris EE. 1898. Platypus. In: Austral English: a dictionary of Australasian words, phrases and usages, with those Aboriginal-Australian and Maori words which have become incorporated in the language and the commoner scientific words that have had their origin in Australasia. London (England): MacMillan and Co. Limited. p. 525.

Moyal A. 2001. Platypus. Crows Nest (NSW, Australia): Allen & Unwin.

Munday BL, Peel BF. 1983. Severe ulcerative dermatitis in platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus). J Wildl Dis. 19:363–365. doi:10.7589/0090-3558-19.4.363.

Munday BL, Whittington RJ, Stewart NJ. 1998. Disease conditions and subclinical infections of the platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus). Philos Trans R Soc B Biol Sci. 353:1093–1099. doi:10.1098/rstb.1998.0268.

Newman J, Sharp JA, Enjapoori AK, Bentley J, Nicholas KR, Adams TE, Peat TS. 2018. Structural characterization of a novel monotreme-specific protein with antimicrobial activity from the milk of the platypus. Acta Crystallogr Sect F Struct Biol Commun. 74:39–45. doi:10.1107/S2053230X17017708.

Nicol SC. 2015. Family Tachyglossidae (echidnas). In: Handbook of the mammals of the world: marsupials and monotremes (volume 5). Barcelona (Spain): Lynx Edicions. (Wilson DE, Mittermeier RA, editors). p. 34–53.

Nicol SC. 2017. Energy homeostasis in monotremes. Front Neurosci. 11:195. doi:10.3389/fnins.2017.00195.

Nixon B, Ecroyd H, Dacheux J-L, Dacheux F, Labas V, Johnston SD, Jones RC. 2016. Formation and dissociation of sperm bundles in monotremes. Biol Reprod. 95:91–91. doi:10.1095/biolreprod.116.140491.

Obendorf DL, Peel BF, Munday BL. 1993. Mucor amphibiorum infection in platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) from Tasmania. J Wildl Dis. 29:485–487. doi:10.7589/0090-3558-29.3.485.

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Otley H. 2001. The use of a community-based survey to determine the distribution of the Platypus Ornithorhynchus anatinus in the Huon River catchment, southern Tasmania. Aust Zool. 31:632–641. doi:10.7882/AZ.2001.010.

Otley HM, Munks SA, Hindell MA. 2000. Activty patterns, movements and burrows of platypuses (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) in a sub-alpine Tasmanian lake. Aust J Zool. 48:701–713. doi:10.1071/zo99010.

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Additional Internet Resources

Platypus in Art

Painting of platypus by W. Kuhnert, cWellcome Coll

Color lithograph of a platypus by Wilhelm Kuhnert (date unknown).

For illustrative purposes, Kuhnert shows the platypus' front foot webbing fully extended. In reality, this only happens while the platypus is swimming. On land, this skin folds under the front feet for easier walking and burrowing.

Image credit: © Wellcome Collection. Creative Commons BY 4.0.

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