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Mergther

One of the representatives of the monotremes, analogue of otters in Australian rivers. This species is a direct descendant of the platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus). Platypus population quickly increased when restoring acceptable living conditions, and this has allowed it to survive in human epoch. An additional safety device had been secretive and cautious. After the disappearance of the animal people actively evolved, taking place in the new ecosystem Australia / Meganesia.

Mergotery feeds mainly on fish (hence the name: Mergus - merganser, duck piscivorous) can hunt small animals, swimming across the river, and catch young waterfowl. Perhaps carnivorous marsupials more preadapted to transition to food fish, but the bag prevents them master the aquatic environment, so mergotery not met worthy competitors in Australian rivers. Only fish can compete with them for food. From platypus mergotery in larger dimensions: it grows up to a meter in length; about half the length of the tail, flattened and widened at the end.

The animal finds a fish by sight (nictitating membrane is transparent, is the "points" for swimming under water) and a sensitive beak. The edges of the beak is soft and rich in nerve endings. Sam beak relatively long and narrow, on the inner side of the teeth developed horny sitting transverse rows. They partially replace missing teeth, serving to hold the fish. No cheek pouches: this animal usually eats large fish, pulling them ashore.

Wool is thick, short, lubricated by secretions of special glands in the anal area. Because of this, it is not wetted and nyrnuvshy beast looks silvery. Palama on the front legs is reduced to a small fold. The front legs are more suited for digging and grasping prey than for swimming. The claws are very developed, jagged. They are used for wool combing and setting fish. With claws mergotery burrows in river banks, although most took part of swamp rabbit hole, widening and deepening it. Hind feet long, wide webs - they are the tail together with the principal organs of movement under water. Swim mergotery very quickly, but the water can be just about three minutes.

The hair on the abdomen is light, almost white. On the back - dark gray wool with unclear intermittent grayish-white strokes. On his head touches not, because of this, it looks darker than the body. The bill is black with a white narrow strip at the bottom.

By way of life and the method of reproduction mergotery much it resembles a platypus Holocene epoch. The female of this species lays 2 - 3 eggs are relatively large, which hatches into a hole. In contrast to the platypus, the female buries mergoteriya not the entrance to the hole: it can easily repel small predators, which could crawl into a hole.

This type is more aggressive than its predecessor. Mergotery able to defend themselves from predators, biting and causing deep wounds clawed forepaws.

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