The duck-billed platypus feeds on insect larvae, snails, worms, small fish, and crustaceans; it is most active at dawn and dusk. Typically, before feeding, the creature floats serenely on the surface of the water, resembling a log. When it decides to dive for food, it can do so quickly, with one swipe of its tail.
The platypus generally feeds near the bottom of freshwater creeks and rivers. It probes the muddy bottoms with its supersensitive bill to locate its prey. Until recently, it was thought that the platypus only located its prey by touch, but it now appears that the platypus' bill is also electroreceptive, allowing the animal to detect muscle activity in prey animals. Sometimes, the platypus stores small prey temporarily in its cheek pouches. Commonly, it stays submerged for about one minute, but, if threatened, it can stay underwater for up to five minutes.