David Attenborough’s Life Stories. The Platypus
From a series of talks by Sir David Attenborough on the natural histories of creatures and plants from around the world. Along the soft, muddy river banks of New South Wales, the female duck-billed platypus makes a burrow to raise her family. Not only is this the strangest of creatures, it is also one of the most tricky to film. The property referred to by David Attenborough when filming baby platypus in their burrows was right here at Platypus Bend.
Monotremes are the only mammals left that lay eggs. This video of newly hatched baby platypuses and echidnas is one of few that documents this incredible process.
“It was all very exciting,” he says, “because there was a marvellous girl – I don’t know whether ‘girl’ is an OK word these days, but there was, anyway, a female scientist – Tanya Rankin, who is a platypus researcher, and a cameraman named Mark Lambaugh. Mark very delicately bored an endoscope down through the earth to get into the burrow, using radio tags to plot the long tunnel before it gets to the breeding chamber. The shots were the result of months and months of donkey work by the two of them.”