Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Draggle: Australia’s Other Platypus

The Draggle is a related to the platypus, a duck billed marsupial. Similar looking toward a platypus, the only way to tell the difference is that the Draggle are known to walk on their powerful hind legs and have a light blue coloration around their eyes. Throughout the marshlands and swamps of Australia, the Draggle hunts for worms and digging insects as it digs for them in the wet soil with it's large digging claws. The claws are mainly used for digging but, if disturbed or threatened, the Draggle with leave a serious gash in the enemy's skin. Like their cousins the platypus, the Draggle do swim thanks to their oddly shaped, beaver-like tail. While in the water, it looks exactly like a platypus as it swims in search of crayfish and other small crustaceans. The Draggle is a daytime animal but, during full moons they become true 'wild animals'. During a full moon, the male Draggle attracts a mate by doing a type of daggy-dance. Daggy-dancing is a more harmless way these peaceful animals compete for territory and females.

After mating, the female will hide out in her underground den while the male goes out to hunt for food. Both the male and female Draggle stay together until the young grow to adulthood. The female will later lay two large, silver coated eggs. Draggle eggs are quite valuable in Australian culture and are favored by many predators so, in result both the male and female will take turns leaving the den to hunt for food. As soon as the eggs hatch, the female and male leave the den together to search for food. Each parent takes care of the same sex child if both a male and female are born. Sometimes one parent will have to take care of both children but, usually the other parent will help out in caring for their young. After learning to the basics of survival, the parents will start taking them along hunting. When they reach adulthood, the children leave the den to find a mate and the parents will stay together until one of them dies. Draggles are quite social animals and families from different generations are known to live nearby each other.

Some Monstrologists believe that the Draggle is the next evolutionary stage of the platypus (illustration above) but, the two species are quite different because the Draggle mainly lives on land, only venturing into the water if prey sources are low.

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