i love platypi so much. i will give all of my college money to save them! (soo maybe like $200, but thats something!) :(
The fascinating bird-beaked, egg-laying mammal the duck-billed platypus (Ornitorhynchus anatinus) could experience trouble as climate change causes things to hot up in its aquatic habitat. The platypus has an extraordinary fur coat providing powerful insulation - thermal imaging has shown that they only lose heat through their eyes, which are closed when underwater, enabling them to hunt for food for up to 10 hours a day in waters around zero degrees Centigrade. (Instead of vision, the platypus hunts using electroperception, sensing its prey’s electric field using receptors in its beak, as we have seen was recently discovered in Guiana dolphins - see previous post.) Should temperatures start to rise, the platypus has few ways to cool down other than resting in its burrow, but by staying there, it would face starvation. An increase in water temperatures could therefore drive the platypus from some areas of its current range and reduce the number of places that remain cool enough to support populations, potentially threatening their survival as a species. Monitoring changes in the population will prove a difficult task, as platypuses are a shy and generally nocturnal species that are not easy to capture.
Ref: Walker (2011) Iconic platypus feels the heat. BBC Wonder Monkeys blog [link]