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The Platypus: A Venomous Mammal

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Venom Genomics and Proteomics

Part of the book series: Toxinology ((TOXI))

Abstract

The platypus is a monotreme, an egg-laying mammal, found only in Australia. Males are venomous. During the breeding season they are able to deliver venom through spurs located on their hind legs. Venom delivery is believed to provide individuals with an advantage over conspecifics throughout the breeding season. This paper reviews the current literature on platypus venom, focusing primarily on recent advances which have been made since the sequencing of the platypus genome and venom gland transcriptome. It first provides an overview of the genes and molecules involved in venom production and focuses on how these molecules explain the symptoms of envenomation: allodynia, hyperalgesia, swelling and changes to blood pressure. The paper concludes by providing insights into how these venom peptides could be developed into novel therapeutics for human use.

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Correspondence to Camilla M. Whittington .

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Whittington, C.M., Belov, K. (2016). The Platypus: A Venomous Mammal. In: Gopalakrishnakone, P., Calvete, J. (eds) Venom Genomics and Proteomics. Toxinology. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-6416-3_3

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