Platypus

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Platypus (Zoos Victoria Healesville Sanctuary)

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Australian Platypus Conservancy

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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.

  • How Earth's oddest mammal got to be so bizarre
    on January 6, 2021 at 7:25 pm

    Often considered the world's oddest mammal, Australia's beaver-like, duck-billed platypus exhibits an array of bizarre characteristics: it lays eggs instead of giving birth to live babies, sweats milk, has venomous spurs and is even equipped with 10 sex chromosomes. Now, an international team of researchers led by University of Copenhagen has conducted a unique mapping of the platypus genome and found answers regarding the origins of a few of its stranger features.

  • Platypus should be listed as a threatened...
    on November 23, 2020 at 6:20 pm

    A landmark assessment by scientists at UNSW Sydney recommends the platypus be listed as a threatened species under Australia's and NSW environmental legislation.

  • How organ functions were shaped over the course...
    on November 11, 2020 at 7:11 pm

    A large-scale study conducted by molecular biologists from Heidelberg University has yielded groundbreaking new insights into the evolution and regulation of gene expression in mammalian organs. The scientists investigated RNA synthesis and subsequent protein synthesis in the organs of humans and other representative mammals, and with the aid of sequencing technologies, they analyzed more than 100 billion gene expression fragments from various organs. They were able to demonstrate that the […]

  • Shining a (UV) light on the glow-in-the-dark...
    on October 29, 2020 at 4:05 pm

    The fur of the platypus—an Australian species threatened with extinction—glows green under ultraviolet light, a new study finds. This is the first observation of biofluorescence in an egg-laying mammal (monotreme), suggesting this extraordinary trait may not be as rare as previously thought.

  • Bees use shark 'supersense' to help find food
    on August 11, 2020 at 2:53 pm

    Flying insects such as bees and moths have secret senses that allow them to 'feel' nearby flowers and navigate over long distances, according to new research.

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