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Duck-Billed Platypus's Niche


The duck-billed platypus creates its home in burrows. There are two specific and distinct burrows that the platypus digs. The first kind of burrow that the platypus digs is the regular burrow that both sexes of the platypus use as resting grounds. The burrow is open on both ends with an oval shaped middle, most resembling of a snake with a large egg in the middle of its stomach. The two openings are usually dug right underneath a cliff or an overhanging ledge that leads into the water. This allows the platypus quick access to its food source. The second kind of burrow that the platypus digs is limited to use by the female platypus. This burrow is used solely by a mother platypus as a nest for breeding. The shape of the nesting burrow is most like a large lollipop or microphone with a narrow stem and a wide open head. Along the stem of the burrow, there is a “nest” or a nursery for the egg to hatch. The opening of the nesting burrow, like the regular burrow, is above water. Therefore, the burrow itself is on an upward slope as to protect the mother and the baby against possible floods. To further protect herself, the mother will block off the entrance to the nest with walls of dirt. The nest itself can be made of any number of different materials, including twigs, leaves, as well as reeds.