What is the difference between a duck and a platypus?
A duck is a bird. It has feathers and can fly.
A Platypus is a completely different animal. It is a monotreme (egg-laying mammal) with a bill, fur and a thick, beaver-like tail.
Other differences include:
- The platypus's bill is flatter and broader than a duck's, and serves a quite different function. It is equipped with electroreceptors, with which it detects the electrical impulses of tiny crustaceans, and it uses its bill to shovel away the dirt and mud to reach its food.
- The platypus is completely carnivorous, but a duck is omnivorous, feeding on aquatic plant life as well as insects, small fish, worms and small amphibians.
- While ducks have permanently webbed feet, the platypus has retractable webbing on its feet. The webbing is there to help it swim, but it retracts when the platypus needs to dig its burrow.
- Platypuses live and raise their young in burrows dug in the side of riverbanks. Ducks do not burrow, but build nests in which to lay their eggs.
- Platypuses are unique to Australia. Ducks are found all over the world.
- Ducks migrate; platypuses do not.
There is no such species as the "duck billed platypus". A platypus is simply a platypus, and the concept that its unique bill is anything like a duck's is false. The structure, function and even the material of which its bill is made are all very different. This animal was called "duckbill" in the early years of settlement in Australia, but the name no longer applies.
The duck-billed platypus. However, it must be said that the platypus is not actually called a duck-billed platypus at all. Some may consider that the platypus has a bill like a duck, but the term "duck-billed platypus" is a complete misnomer. Its bill does not look like a duck's bill, being flatter and much broader, and made of a totally different substance; nor does it serve the same function as a duck's bill, having very…
All animals have ancestors. Further information: The platypus has only ever been a platypus. Contrary to popular opinion, it has not been an otter, a duck or a beaver. Fossils of possible platypus ancestors indicate that, if it did indeed have other ancestors, they shared the same characteristics it has today. The main difference is that earlier forms of the platypus had teeth.