Playtpus are carnivores and feed primarily on a diet of macroinvertebrates which include insect larvae, crayfish, freshwater shrimp and annelid worms.
Macroinvertebrates or Waterbugs are an important part of the creek. This video is aimed at children but it is ideal for a quick intro into the fascinating world of waterbugs.
Platypus feed in several waterbug hot spots within the creek.
Overhanging vegetation at the edge of the creak hide a wide variety of macroinvertebrates. Platypus travel along the edge, both on foot and swimming through the vegetation, looking for food.
When water runs over rocks at speed it generates lots of oxygen and creates perfect conditions for waterbugs who cling to the rocks as well as burying themselves underneath them. Platypus clamber over riffles and pick the waterbugs off the rocks. A riffle can present a great opportunity to see a platypus out of the water
The riverbed is lined with layers of sediment, perfect environments for macroinvertebrates. Platypus will dive to the bottom (with their eyes, noses and ears closed) and seek out their food using their electro-senory system. Whatever they find they will store in their cheeks until they return to the surface. They then grind their bill plates together, the ridges crushing up their food sufficiently enough for the intestines to deal with because remember, platypus have no stomach and so their food misses out on that acid-faze of the digestion process.
Platypus will generally spend all night hunting and then sleep during the day, although sometimes particular groups will deviate from this behaviour.
If you want to learn more about waterbugs, you can come along to our waterbugs workshops. Waterbugs are a great indicator of pollution levels so we do regular sampling around the Gold Coast and Logan to test for water quality. For more information, Check out the waterbugs page on our website. Ideal for both children and adults.