Journal article

Female control of reproductive behaviour in the platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus), with notes on female competition for mating

Jessica L Thomas, Marissa L Parrott, Kathrine A Handasyde, Peter Temple-Smith



Opportunities for studying platypus courtship and mating behaviours in the wild are limited due to the nocturnal and cryptic nature of this species. We report on platypus courtship and mating behaviour from a successful breeding program at Healesville Sanctuary, Victoria, in which platypuses were held as either breeding pairs or trios over seven years. Behaviour was recorded daily on infrared cameras resulting in over 80,000 h of footage that was analysed for activity periods, and courtship and mating behaviours including non-contact and contact courtship, mating and avoidance. Our aims were to describe and quantify courtship and mating interactions between males and females, and to determin..

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Funding Acknowledgements

This research was funded by Healesville Sanctuary, Zoos Victoria, and the Violet Scott Foundation, and could not have been completed without the dedicated assistance of the platypus keepers who took on additional work in order to allow time for data to be collected. It was conducted under Zoos Victoria Animal Ethics Committee approval ZV12014.