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Photo Information
Copyright: Jose Miguel Cisneros (JoseMiguel) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1419 W: 3 N: 1610] (5658)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2009-12-30
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Canon EOS 40D, Canon 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM, 58mm UV
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/320 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): RARE or SIGNIFICANT contributions to TN 4, Fauna of NOTOGEA (Australian) Region [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2010-01-11 14:13
Viewed: 14329
Points: 104
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Platypus or (Ornithorhynchus anatinus)
What a year I have had! Plenty of changes and challenges, but here I am and very happy to share a photo again.
I took this photo a couple of weeks ago in Tasmania, and I can’t tell you the excitement when this little buddie showed up and even swam to the part of the pond with the last light’s rays of the day.
I guess this is the first post of a Platypus in TN, so hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Handheld with IS, crop, some RAW adjustments and image size for TN.
Shutter speed: 1/320
Aperture value: f/5.6
Focal length: 300mm
AF mode: One shot
Flash: Off
ISO 1.600
Shutter priority

The platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) is an egg-laying, semi-aquatic mammal that lives in Tasmania and along the eastern coast of mainland Australia. It occupies a wide range of habitats from alpine streams and ponds that freeze in winter, to the tepid waters of tropical north Queensland. It uses electro-receptors in its rubbery bill to find food on the bottom of freshwater streams, lakes and ponds.

The platypus is characterised by a soft, toothless rubbery bill, webbed feet, fur and a single external opening to the urinary, digestive and reproductive tracts. This iconic mammal was so weird that when specimens first reached Europe at the end of the 19th century they were considered fakes. Since that time platypuses have continued to fascinate scientists and the public alike. Although many people have never seen one in the wild (due to their secretive and often nocturnal habits), most Australians strongly support their conservation.
Platypus and echidnas are the only existing species of monotremes (egg laying mammals) on earth. All other mammals are in the subclass Theria and give birth to live young.

Platypus have small eyes but acute sight. They only open their eyes above water and are particularly good at detecting movement on the river bank. Their hearing is also acute, with a range of hearing similar to the frequencies that humans can detect, but with sensitivity to lower frequency sounds that we can't hear. Little is known about their sense of smell and taste. However males secrete a musky odour from a scent gland in the breeding season so it seems likely that they would have a reasonable sense of smell.

Underwater, platypus rely on touch and a special sixth sense called electro-reception. Monotremes are the only mammals to have developed electro-reception. Sharks and rays use electro-reception to detect prey and can pick up the tiny electrical fields produced by the muscular contraction of their prey. Underwater footage shows platypus swinging their heads from side to side to detect tiny changes in the electrical field generated by their prey and determine its location.

Venom glands and spurs
Male platypuses have spurs on the inside of their hind legs which are attached to crural glands that produce a powerful venom. Male platypuses can inflict extremely painful wounds in humans, while the venom is capable of killing other animals such as dogs that attack them.
Platypuses are one of only five known venomous mammals but the precise role of the spur and venom is not fully understood. The spurs can inflict wounds on natural predators or other males, and may possibly play some part in the breeding behaviour of the species. The crural gland increases in size during the breeding season and the volume of poison produced increases.

Platypus are capable of many vocalisations including a soft growling sound when disturbed.
Have a listen this rarely heard growl!

Scientific classification:
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Monotremata
Family: Ornithorhynchidae
Genus: Ornithorhynchus
Species: O. anatinus

Tasmania Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment

roges, CeltickRanger, rousettus, eng55, shree, nasokoun, boreocypriensis, horias, jaycee, Argus, marhowie, horia, Dis. Ac., nglen, Luis52, maurydv, anel, JPlumb, mlines, Miss_Piggy, Noisette, Jamesp, uleko, Heaven, jusninasirun, Adanac, Alex99, Hormon_Manyer, KOMSIS, lovenature, valy67, jtkerb has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To amb1946: Salut!JoseMiguel 1 11-15 16:35
To uleko: PlatypusJoseMiguel 1 01-18 05:34
To delpeoples: PlatypusJoseMiguel 1 01-18 05:09
To Argus: PlatypusJoseMiguel 1 01-12 22:30
To AnimalExplorer: Platypus spursJoseMiguel 1 01-12 13:14
To loot: FIxed it!JoseMiguel 2 01-11 22:45
To rousettus: PlatypusJoseMiguel 1 01-11 21:26
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Jose.
Excellent catch...Details are very good and great notes.....
I check others pictures from you, I seen professional photography...Well done,I am impressive d..TFS.

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2010-01-11 15:05]

Hi Jose,welcome back! I'm happy to see you again after a year...and what a impressive and rare specie you show us today!Not easy to take an ornithorincum..especially for me...ahahahah....the pic is very very great,i like a lot the perfect sharpness,contrast and colors and the magic light inside!Thanks for share,have a nice day...Luciano.

hello Jose

welcome back to TN, your last photo i think it was long time ago,
excellent photography of this rare aquatic animal shot with fine POV,
fine focus sharpness and details, the water spirals
and the water colour tones gives to the image artistic effect,



Hola Jose Miguel
nice to see you again. welcome.
nice to see such a nice species with a great shot. My opinion is that the Platypus is the most interesting creatures all over the world with characteristics among birds, mammals and reptiles. Additionally electricity sense and poisonous glands in males.
You greatly captured it on water. sharp focus, POV/DOF and eyes contact wonderful. circle wavies on water great for composition. thanks for sharing this beauty with good notes. best wishes

Hi Jose,
It's not hard to believe why first specimens of this species displayed back in Europe were decried as clever fabrications by a skilled taxidermist, it truly is the strangest of creatures! Now, if only they had a copy of your photo I'm sure the public would have been more receptive. Great lighting, framing, and love the water ripples. Thanks for the informative note and great photo.

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  • loot Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5524 W: 722 N: 4163] (11276)
  • [2010-01-11 20:20]
  • [2] [+]

Hi Jose Miguel

Wow, here you have a RRR (real royal rarity). Amazingly, after 5½ years of TrekNature,
this is the 1st time that we see this species on the site. Good images of the Platypus are
relatively difficult to find on the Internet so you really struck gold with this fine image. I
also need to commend you on your very interesting and attention-grabbing notes. It is
good to see a posting from you again and since we haven't yet communicated during
this new year I would like to wish you and your loved ones a happy and wonderful 2010.

Because it is the 1st time we see it on the site this one has gone straight to my theme
for "RARE or SIGNIFICANT contributions to TN".

Well done MF and TFS.

PS. Just a question.
I see at the top of your note you give the name Platypus or (Ornithorhynchus anatinus),
which is the correct common and binomial names, but at the bottom it is given as Genus:
Ornithorhynchus - Species: M. melanocephala. It seems like a little typing error crept in
with the "M. melanocephala".

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  • eng55 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1256 W: 42 N: 1976] (5892)
  • [2010-01-11 21:35]

Hi Jose,
Very beautiful capture.I liked lighting,exposure,cross framing and visual impact a lot.Have a nice day!
Thanks for posting..

hello Jose,
I am glad to know you,
you photographed a creature that resembles exotic for me, I have seen this only in the BBC and also plastic in my rucksack. The photo is interesting scene in the water, Ι like the composition with the ripples, with sharp details good focus and litted up beautiful colors!
keep photographing! TFS

Hi Jose,

Incredible capture of this unique "oviparous" mammal resembling a huge duck with delihgtful composition and great details.
TFS and have a nice day!


Hola José Miguel,
Antes que nada un saludo y un gusto también por saber que hay otro miembro de venezuela en TN.
De la foto... ¿que puedo decir?... Excelente en todo sentido, las características del animal se parecian bastante bien y además lo has fotografiado en su medio preferido. Es de hacer notar el efecto de las ondas en la superficie del agua que parte sobretodo del "pico" del especímen, estas agregan un elemento adicional para la composición excelente.
**La nota anexa es realmente útil y completa.

Hi Jose,

Nice shot on a species that I have only seen on television. Nice golden light falling at the perfect angle to highlight the head area. A rare capture for sure.


Hi Jose
amazing picture, obviously fortune favours the bold!

Geeat capture dear Jose Miguel! A rare specie tht I've seen only in documentaries. Great light and dynamic posture.


Ciao Jose, great capture of strange creature, rare to see on TN, lovely composition with splendid light and colors, very well done, ciao Silvio

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  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2010-01-12 6:31]

Hi Jose,
lovely and lively creature. You have captured it very well in an artistic composition. The ripples add an exciting effect to the composition.
i like this special and unique creature.


Hi Jose,
Super cool! I looooooove platypuses! I had the opportunity to assist in field research awhile back in Tasmania on these incredible monotremes but didn't grab the opportunity at the time, how I hate myself for not doing it (Aaaaaaahg!) I tell you if the chance ever happens again I will not let it pass. Anyway great top shot showing the whole subject enjoying the afternoon swim and probably hunting for yabbies. Did you know the female has spurs as well but they lost the functionality of the venom producing glands. I loved the accompanying audio link. Take care
Paul :)

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  • horias Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 837 W: 58 N: 2084] (11033)
  • [2010-01-12 11:39]

What a great details of this very interesting animal! Congratulation for this lovely capture!

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  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2010-01-12 15:54]

Hi Jose,

Welcome back - it's been a long time. What a marvelous Platypus to shout out your return. You were so lucky to see him in the pond and you took full advantage of the occasion. I have only seen them in pictures and never realized how beautiful the colors are. Excellent details of the face, eye, body, and even the legs. I love the position in the water with all the ringlets around him.


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  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2010-01-12 22:21]
  • [+]

Hello Jose Miguel,
When we were in Queensland we saw the Platypus in poor light and took some photos, but none as good as this!
This is superb in every way, excellent sharpness and lighting and taken from a ideal POV on the surface of the water,
Thanks for this pleasant reminder.
Best wishes,

Good detail & POV Jose, even a bit of catchlight there..
Also like the waters concentric ripples, they add nicely.
Congrats on this first post of a very interesting species :)

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  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2010-01-13 9:08]

Hi Jose Miguel

Nice to see you back here, my old friend and may i wish you a belated Happy New 2010!!!
This is a most terrific shot from you...we hardly see a platypus around here at all... And your shot is a great close-up so that we can view the details of this cute but strange animal.
Technically, the sharpness is very good for such a high ISO, the colors are lovely (especially the little reflections on its fur) and the diagonal composition is excellent.
Overall, top job!

Bravo and TFS

Hello Jose,

an good pov and detailed picture from this anima'.
Fine colours.


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  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2010-01-13 13:00]

Hi Jose. It good to see you back posting again .I have to say i have never seen on in the wild so thanks for posting this one on TN and the first one to. What a fantastic looking Mammal. Taken with good detail and golden colours. TFs.

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  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2010-01-13 17:52]

Hola Jose Miguel.
Me da mucho gusto volver admirar tus finas fotos otravez aqui en TN.
Hermosa foto de este Ornitorrinco, especie de mamifero acuatico, y creo que tienes razon de estar orgulloso al ser el primero en presentarnos esta foto.
Saludos Jose Miguel.
Hermosa galeria de fotos las que tienes aqui.

Hello Miguel,
a fantastic capture of Platypus taken from an excellent POV with very good sharpness, i like these marvellous colours with golden reflections on the water, a very oleasing composition
Best regards

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  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2010-01-14 6:14]

Hello Jose Miguel,
Happy to see that you publish again some picture on this site! And you have chosen something rare and not very common. Must not be easy to catch this fellow! Very well composed and fine colors, the perfect sharpness must be quite impossible to reach in this situation.
I wish you a nice day
Kind regards

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  • JPlumb Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 618 W: 158 N: 896] (2904)
  • [2010-01-14 12:44]

Hola Jose Miguel, very nice capture of this elusive creature. I am so jealous. The only time I saw one of these guys was at the Sydney Aquarium, and we bought one (a door stop) from Australian Geographic. These are for sure one of the more interesting animals to be encountered in Australia, and you've placed him into a very excellent presentation. Great shot, excellent notes. Very excellent work on your part!

Thanks, John

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  • mlines Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 556 W: 26 N: 668] (3116)
  • [2010-01-14 22:17]

Hi Jose, A very clear shot of this unusual and iconic Aussie animal. The clarity is stunning. Very few get the chance to see one of these with there own eyes, so it is pleasure to see it through your lens. TFS. Murray.
PS Would like to get together again some time. I am away in Asia at present, but back in feb.

Hola Jose Miguel, que maravillosa toma nos muestras de nuevo, parece que este ornitorrinco quiso deleitarte con su baño y tu estabas alli para mostrarnoslo con tu buen hacer, como siempre un 10!! Y no tardes tanto en poner otra!! Un abrazo y feliz año!

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  • roges Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 957 W: 0 N: 1329] (6264)
  • [2010-01-16 3:59]

Hola Jose,
Splendid organization of the Platypus.
Very good details and colors.
Have a good WE,

Hallo Jose
Congratulations on capturing this incredible animal that I have only seen in magazines and reference books and even then they are very scarce and hard to find. In my personal opinion the Platypus is a combination of a duck(the beak) a crocodile (only the shape of the body) a wolf (the tail) and a witch (those huge nails). Ha-ha, what a description from my side for such a unique animal. The clarity of the eye caught my attention as well as the purple shade along the body of the Platypus. Is that for real or is my eyes playing games with me. It is indeed a lovely photograph and you were a very lucky photographer to be able to capture this exceptional creature. The movement and colour of the water is also very eye-catching. Thanks for sharing. Kind regards.
Ps. I hope you are not going to dissapear again, and if so not for so long this time.

Hello Jose Miguel
excellent capture of this very interesting animal, taken with superb details and fantastic colors, especially the green water
great composed shot, thanks a lot for sharing
Have a good night

Hola JM, this is such a rare photo. I don't think I've ever seen a platypus in daylight, they're hard enough to see at night time! Beautiful light management and quick reactions to what is really a once in a lifetime opportunity. Thanks for the growl - I didnt know they could do that! I'm so glad you enjoyed Tasmania, it really is a wonderful place in terms of untouched landscapes, amazing wildlife and of course the people :) I've been posting a few landscapes on TE but might do a few here if they let me. Thanks for sharing and have a beautiful day, Lisa

  • Jamesp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
  • [2010-01-17 23:30]

Hi Jose

Great capture - I have seen wild platypus but not got a good image as the light has always been bad. Well done on this excellent shot.


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  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2010-01-18 4:39]
  • [+]

Hello Miguel,
How lucky to have succeeded in capturing this Platypus so well!! We waited for hours in Australia to see one and it only turned up when it was too dark to photograph it!! Fantastic work showing it very clearly and in natural colours!!
Many thanks and cheers, Ulla

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  • Heaven Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 996 W: 123 N: 2341] (7912)
  • [2010-01-19 23:00]

Hi Jose!

Indeed, you are very lucky to have met this cute little fellow! And you have taken full advantage of this encounter! First, it provided you a lot of deep emotions, second, it let you take this superb and unique picture. Many thanks also for the very interesting and detailed notes!

Kind regards


Hi Jose Miguel.

This is such a fine shot at the platypus. The light shining on the back making good vibrant image. Love the details captured and you have framed the shot really well. The swirling water around the subject enhances the composition really well. Thanks for sharing and have a nice day.


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  • pilonm Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 588 W: 90 N: 975] (3321)
  • [2010-01-21 14:30]

Hello Jose.

WOW!!! What a great picture of thys platypus. In french we name it "ornithorynque" meaning "nose like a bird" referring to the duck-like mouth. I like very much the spiral on the water in front of him. The only think maybe is that I see some violet on the body of the animal but maybe it is my crt which I know is not so good...

Excellent shot my friend!


amazing creature, TFS Ori

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  • PaulH Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1137 W: 26 N: 3879] (13882)
  • [2010-01-22 3:50]

Whata special moment this must have been Jose, i am very jealous! Excellent capture and well done on posting the first photo of this truly amazing creature - well done!

Salut Jose
comme d'habitude superbe image, avec un superbe focus
sur le sujet, belle pose du sujet qui ressemble a un cro cro, excellente netteté et détails

Bravo et au revoir...JP

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  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2010-01-26 18:33]

Hello Jose,
What a dream of a moment and to capture it so superbly Jose.
Incredible job, thank you for sharing.

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  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2010-01-26 20:44]

Hi Jose.
My warm wishes for 2010 to you too/ Thanks for visit and nice comments. I also am impressed with the subject and quality of the shot. Amazing scene, attractive circles on the water, wonderful diagonal composition of the shot and lovely animal, which is reproduced with plenty details and excellent sharpness. Well done and kind regards.

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  • waylim Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 296 W: 8 N: 489] (1765)
  • [2010-01-27 12:03]

Hi Jose,
From the thumbnail, It thought it must be a crocodile. Well to my surprise, and even better to find this platypus, something that I don't know much about. So it is great to see and learn. Good quality shot as many in your gallery, it is a treat to browse through. It can take me a whole day. Thanks for all the wonderful images.

Hola José Miguel,
Excellent shot of a rarely seen animal here on TN. It's great You returned to the site. A fantastic photo with awesome golden color tone, composition-wise minimalistic yet very effective, and even timing was perfect, too, the water spirals are well seeable. Absolutely superb capture. Bravo.
Best regards from Hungary, saludos, László

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  • KOMSIS Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 820 W: 0 N: 2419] (10674)
  • [2010-01-30 8:02]

Hola Jose,
Interesting and beautiful composition ...
Fine focus, sharp detail perfect.
Best wishes,

Hi dear Jose,
Great work.
I'm happy to see your nice photos again.
You are a great photographer for me.

Kind regards

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  • tcr Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 158 W: 8 N: 538] (3384)
  • [2010-02-06 11:39]

Very interesting and uncommon image. Great point of view, composition and colour.
Greetings and TFS.

Hello Jose
Wow, excellent capture. An intriguing and unique mammal. The soft lighting brings out such nice colours in the water and the Platypus. Great notes too.
TFS Janice

Hello Jose Miguel !
Wow, amazing ! You we able to capture this strange animal, there are not so many, I guess, who could ever se them in real - you're so lucky ! :-) And the picture is fantastic, also. I love the warm light of late afternoon, and the way you have composd the picture. The pose of the Platypus is nice too, he looks relaxed and not afraid at all, as he floats on the water. Many congratulations for this great shot !

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  • cako Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 485 W: 0 N: 772] (3395)
  • [2010-02-10 4:55]

Hi Jose
very nice image
very weel done.

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  • Tabib Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 160 W: 5 N: 167] (859)
  • [2010-03-31 1:24]

Hello Jose,

Very unusual animal, and I never seen this except in the text book.
Nicely captured!


Hi Jose,
You got an excellent pictures of this rare species.
However it's not the first platypus here. A few weeks ago I already uploaded one and maybe there were more already.
Nevertheless, this one is perfect!

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