Did you know that male platypuses are poisonous? The male platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus in Latin) has a spike on his hind foot. The spike is used to inject venom, usually in self-defense. I found this information in the book Poison! by Tammi Salzano and Heather Dakota on page 48.
For more information about platypuses, check out the children’s book A Platypus’ World by Caroline Arnold. This excellent book follows the development of platypuses from eggs, to babies, to maturity. For very young children Platypus! by Ginjer L. Clark shows very simple pictures comparing a platypus to a beaver and a duck.
The library also has a very cute DVD called Dot and the Kangaroo which is the story of Dot, who gets lost in Australia. She meets a kangaroo who helps her, and they meet many native animals along the way, including a pair of platypuses who sing about being ornithorhynchus.
And finally, for adults, Platypus: the Extraordinary Story of How a Curious Creature Baffled the World by Ann Moyal will tell you all the facts about the discoveries and theories of platypus research.