Platypus

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Platypus (Zoos Victoria Healesville Sanctuary)

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platypus : a small carnivorous aquatic monotreme mammal (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) of eastern Australia and Tasmania that has a fleshy bill resembling that of a duck, dense fur, webbed feet, and a broad flattened tail — Webster

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platypus, sometimes referred to as the duck-billed platypus, is a semiaquatic egg-laying mammal endemic to eastern Australia, including Tasmania. Together with the four species of echidna, it is one of the five extant species of monotremes, the only mammals that lay eggs instead of giving birth to live young. The animal is the sole living representative of its family (Ornithorhynchidae) and genus (Ornithorhynchus), though a number of related species appear in the fossil record.

The unusual appearance of this egg-laying, duck-billed, beaver-tailed, otter-footed mammal baffled European naturalists when they first encountered it, with some considering it an elaborate hoax. It is one of the few species of venomous mammals: the male platypus has a spur on the hind foot that delivers a venom capable of causing severe pain to humans. The unique features of the platypus make it an important subject in the study of evolutionary biology and a recognizable and iconic symbol of Australia; it has appeared as a mascot at national events and features on the reverse of the Australian twenty-cent coin. The platypus is the animal emblem of the state of New South Wales. — Wikipedia

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Phys.org - latest science and technology news stories Phys.org internet news portal provides the latest news on science including: Physics, Nanotechnology, Life Sciences, Space Science, Earth Science, Environment, Health and Medicine.

  • Meet Callichimaera perplexa, the platypus of crabs
    on April 24, 2019 at 6:00 pm

    The crab family just got a bunch of new cousins—including a 95-million-year-old chimera species that will force scientists to rethink the definition of a crab. […]

  • Salamanders chew with their palate
    on March 22, 2019 at 1:30 pm

    The Italian Crested Newt – Triturus carnifex – eats anything and everything it can overpower. Earthworms, mosquito larvae and water fleas are on its menu, but also snails, small fish and even its own offspring. A research team led by Dr. Egon Heiss of Friedrich Schiller University in Jena (Germany) has studied the newt's chewing behaviour and has made an astounding discovery. […]

  • Sequencing the white shark genome is cool, but...
    on February 28, 2019 at 1:08 pm

    The headlines are eye-catching: Scientists have sequenced the genome of white sharks. Or the bamboo lemur, or the golden eagle. But why spend so much time and money figuring out the DNA makeup of different species? […]

  • What causes rats without a Y chromosome to become...
    on January 31, 2019 at 12:54 pm

    A look at the brains of an endangered spiny rat off the coast of Japan by University of Missouri (MU) Bond Life Sciences Center scientist Cheryl Rosenfeld could illuminate the subtle genetic influences that stimulate a mammal's cells to develop as male versus female in the absence of a Y chromosome. […]

  • A reptile platypus from the early Triassic
    on January 24, 2019 at 3:08 pm

    No animal alive today looks quite like a duckbilled platypus, but about 250 million years ago something very similar swam the shallow seas in what is now China, finding prey by touch with a cartilaginous bill. The newly discovered marine reptile Eretmorhipis carrolldongi from the lower Triassic period is described in the journal Scientific Reports Jan. 24. […]

Hi Kendall, Thank you very much for the nudge to create this page! 🙂 -Mary