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Why no platypus in zoos outside Australia?

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by DavidBrown, 19 May 2011.

  1. Zooplantman

    Zooplantman Well-Known Member

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    The original one (1922) was attached to the east end of the Reptile House.

    The second (1947) was north of the Safari Shop.
    I believe that the third venture (1958) was in the same location.

    This all according to William Bridges history of the zoo.
     
  2. Rookeyper

    Rookeyper Well-Known Member

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    Platypus have not consistently bred well in captivity. Until such time as they do it is unlikely that any will be exported to overseas zoos. ZAA and AZA and WAZA are all working hard to manage many species in a global fashion with the best interests of the animals in mind. This effort is still in the works--look for changes in the not-so-distant future.
     
  3. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    I've just been re-reading this thread, and then had a look in Peel's book. Where Peel mentioned the 1899 duck-billed platypus in his Leipzig account it seems clear he was providing a historical list of zoo occupants (i.e. not something he saw himself) and hence I can't see any good reason to believe it was anything other than a translation error for an echidna.

    For Frankfurt, however, he pretty much states that he saw the animal itself, which is certainly interesting. However I'm not convinced it was actually a platypus because the actual paragraph is rather jumbled/badly-written. It reads "There are also three species of wombats (Perameles), including Phascolomys wombat, P. latifrons, belidens, echidna, etc. There is a duck-billed platypus, and a squirrel as big as a cat"

    Perameles is a bandicoot genus, not a wombat genus.
    Phascolomys wombat and P. latifrons are of course wombats (now Vombatus ursinus and Lasiorhinus latifrons).
    Belidens is a misspelling of Belideus, the sugar gliders (now Petaurus).
    Echidna is the short-beaked echidna (now Tachyglossus).
    And then he mentions a duck-billed platypus and what was presumably either something like a greater glider (this part of the account being about marsupials) or an actual giant squirrel (Ratufa).

    I would suggest that the wording was inadvertantly muddled (perhaps by the editor, perhaps by Peel) and "echidna" and "duck-billed platypus" are supposed to be connected.
     
  4. chrisbarela

    chrisbarela Well-Known Member

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    "In contrast to CGSwans, I think real reason is that platypus are expensive to keep for their size (eat thousands of earthworms and similar invertebrates) and not interesting for general public, being nocturnal, small, brown etc. Compare kiwis in Frankfurt zoo, which are not bred because there is no demand for them. "

    I respectfully disagree with you about there not being an interest by the public - any successful marketing director can take just about any animal and make it a celebrity and in the case of the platypus it wouldn't be too hard to sell. If the zoo or aquarium was smart it would create a whole exhibit showcasing the playpus's ecosystem and the animals that live there with the monotreme as the center attraction.. Having it be nocturnal would actually be a plus if you made the exhibit indoors - though from what I've seen they seem to be fairly active in captivity. No I don't think any zoo or aquarium would be hurting for guests if they had a platypus exhibit.
     
  5. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    a bit of an old DavidBrown thread, but worth re-awakening because platypus may be coming to San Diego Zoo.

    I started a thread in the USA forum, but for anybody else who is interested and wouldn't see it there, I'm linking it here as well: San Diego Zoo - Platypus...
     
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  6. SealPup

    SealPup Well-Known Member

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    I remember they have no stomach. Bony and cartilaginous fish with reduced digestive tracts often do not ship well: Taeniura, Zanclus etc because they cannot horde energy as body fat. I wondered if that's also why platypus don't ship alive well, seeing as they have no blubber. I might be wrong but they might be physiologically prone to stress while shipping.
     
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  7. Bib Fortuna

    Bib Fortuna Well-Known Member

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    In his book The Zoological Gardens of Europe (1903) C. V. A. Peel records that Leipzig Zoo had a duck-billed platypus in 1899; the same book also lists a duck-billed platypus in Frankfurt.

    @Tim May

    What excactly writes Peel about the Platypus at Frankfurt ? Did he name a year in which the animal supposedly was kept? The Frankfurt Zoo never had a platypus, but they got an echidna in 1897. I think, Peel just mistook the echidna for a platypus. The german name for the echidna is Schnabeligel, the german name for the Platypus is Schnabeltier.
     
  8. Tim May

    Tim May Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Peel does not give the year that the alleged platypus arrived. He writes:-
    "There are also three species of wombats (Perameles), including Pliascolomys wombat, P. latifrons, helidens, echidna, etc. There is a duck-billed platypus, and a squirrel as large as a cat."

    Given that the German names for echidna and platypus are so similar it seems plausible that Peel just got the monotremes confused although it is interesting that he mentions echidna and duck-billed platypus in consecutive sentences.
     
    Last edited: 4 Nov 2019
  9. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    See post #43, literally four posts above your post, where I quoted the paragraph and broke down the jumble of words in it. I think that "duck-billed platypus" and "echidna" are supposed to be connected in the sentence and either the author or the editor messed up the content.
     
  10. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member

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    It's well known on this site already, but I'm adding this for anyone who doesn't already know: two Platypus will go on exhibit at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park on November 21.
     
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  11. Tim May

    Tim May Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Thank you. I was simply responding to the question "Bib Fortuna" asked me a couple of hours ago.

    I didn't go back to read your post from more than six years ago.

    I do agree with you, though, that Peel's wording appears rather muddled.
     
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  12. animal_expert01

    animal_expert01 Well-Known Member

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    Does anyone know where there coming from?
     
  13. Andrew_NZP

    Andrew_NZP Well-Known Member

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    Probably Australia.
     
  14. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member

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    Taronga, I think.
     
  15. Bib Fortuna

    Bib Fortuna Well-Known Member

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    Thank you. The Frankfurt Zoo has published annual reports since 1858, which are all from 1859 can be found in the Internet. In each of them, most speices, in any case, the most important animal species the zoo got in that year, are listed. Even fallow deer and raccoons.In no annual report for the period in question is a platypus listed, and that would be certain if the zoo had got one, even if it had died in the year of arrival. Also in the zoo archives, even in the 2011 published inventory of mammals, a platypus isn't included. Also, there were no three wombat species at the same time, only two. Between 1898 and 1903 Vombatus ursinus and Lasiorhinus latifrons were kept. At the beginning of the 20th century, Frankfurt had the largest stock of Australian animals outside Australia, including 19 species of kangaroos. But Unfortunately, no platypus.
     
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  16. AdrianW1963

    AdrianW1963 Well-Known Member

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    Would you possibly have a link to the Frankfurt Archives as I would be very interested in reading them please?
     
  17. Bib Fortuna

    Bib Fortuna Well-Known Member

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    I'm Sorry, it is not a single link to a Frankfurt archive, there are several links to diffrent places. You can find the annual reports in the german"Zoo magazine"Der Zoologische Garten".
     
  18. Ggrarl

    Ggrarl Well-Known Member

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  19. woaqzo

    woaqzo New Member

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