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It causes severe and prolonged pain, oedema and localised tissue necrosis in humans, but no fatalities have been reported (de Plater et al. Get your answers by asking now. lining the nursery burrow), requiring a supply of leaves, reeds and grass which must be provided in the water. Photo: P Temple-Smith. The shaft of the penis bears spines and each half of the bifid glans has four evertible foliate papillae. The cortex is the outer region of the kidney. A healthy platypus often growls on handling and wriggles constantly, and its fur dries within 10–15 min of leaving the water. a) Time 0 showing barium in stomach already entering small intestine. There are two pairs of pentadactyl limbs, with claws and webbing on the digits of the manus and pes. It causes severe and prolonged pain, oedema and localised tissue necrosis in humans, but no fatalities have been reported (de Plater et al. The pelvic girdle is typically mammalian with paired ilia, pubes and ischia, but there are also epipubic bones (as in marsupials) projecting forward from pubic bones (Griffiths 1978). 2.8 Endocrine and exocrine systems Digestive System: The digestive system disposes of any waste while at the same time it extracts the vital nutrients. It consists of paired scapulae, clavicles, coracoids, epicoracoids and a T-shaped interclavicle attached to the sternum. The vertebral column of the platypus comprises 49 bones (7C 17T 2L 2S 21Co). Platypus Digestive System. At this stage it is not known whether the platypus has IgD. Skeletal System Members of the Monotremata exhibit a mosaic of reptilian and advanced mammalian characters in their physiology, reproduction and osteology. The spurs are used offensively by bringing them together in the ventral midline with powerful jabbing movements. Instead of a separate pouch where food collects, the platypus' esophagus is directly connected to its intestine. Its thermoregulatory abilities at high temperatures are poor. A milk-dependent juvenile platypus will require intensive care for some weeks. MONOGASTRIC DIGESTIVE SYSTEM A monogastric digestive system has one simple stomach. It has adaptive mechanisms to reduce heat loss and thus minimise energy expenditure (Dawson 1983). The pectoral girdle of the platypus provides a sturdy base for the digging action of the fore limbs and is more like that of lizards. The stomach is very small and receives ground and filtered material from the cheek pouches. Chromaffin tissue is located at the broader caudal end of the pear-shaped adrenal gland, with cortical tissue at the anterior end (Griffiths 1978). Nutrition is actually part of the digestive system and is important to keep the platypus healthy. Stop 1: The Mouth. It has a leathery duck-like bill, a flattened tail and webbed feet. The following diagram illustrates these differences: A range of ancestral reptilian characters: Egg ... one for the digestive system, and one for the urogenital tract. Mating lasts for 10 min (Fleay 1980). 2.5 Cardiopulmonary system In young platypus flattened, rigid teeth are present and these are replaced by horny structures, formed by an in growth of epidermis beneath them and used for breaking the shells of molluscs. The platypus has a lizard-like gait on land. There are still gaps in our knowledge of reproduction in platypuses. Gestation therefore is greater than 14 d and less than 19 d. Platypuses lay 1–3 eggs (Burrell 1927). Platypuses have well-developed, non-lobulated, bean-shaped ureotelic kidneys (urea, not uric acid, is the primary product of nitrogen metabolism). A nictitating membrane is present (unlike the echidna). The remainder of the digestive system is simple. Platypus skin has abundant eccrine and apocrine sweat glands, but these are thought to be ineffective in evaporative cooling due to the presence of the dense fur (Griffiths 1978). The platypus bill receives its massive innervation from the well-developed trigeminal nerve (cranial nerve V). Lactation can be detected by administering oxytocin at 1–2 IU/kg IM. The cervical vertebrae bear cervical ribs and each thoracic rib has ossified sternal and vertebral portions, with cartilage between the two, like reptiles. Venom can be collected from adult male platypuses (>4 yr) during the breeding season for research purposes. Given the minute size of the monotreme and marsupial liver at birth, the storage of iron would be limited and the need for iron to synthesize haemoglobin essential (Griffiths 1988). When walking or burrowing, the webbing extensions are folded back under with the claws out. Photo: Taronga Zoo. 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