Weird Animal Brain: Platypus

The platypus and the echidna are the only mammals that have the power of electroreception, which means they can sense electrical changes. Check out this new Weird Animal Brain to learn how the platypus uses its bill to catch prey underwater!



Scheich H., Langner G., Tidemann C., Coles R.B., Guppy A. (1986). Electroreception and electrolocation in platypus. Nature. 319(6052):401-2.

Pettigrew, J.D., Manger, P.R., and Fine, S.L. (1998). The sensory world of the platypus. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. 353(1372): 1199–1210.

Patel, M. (2007). Platypus Electroreception. Retrieved June 26, 2017, from

Kayleen Schreiber

Kayleen is obsessed with the brain. After majoring in neuroscience at Vanderbilt University, she went straight to a PhD program in neuroscience at the University of Iowa. She currently studies how our brains process speech. She measures electrical changes produced by the brain to understand how the gender of a person talking influences how we hear their speech. Outside the lab, she works to get others excited about science and occasionally plays the bassoon.