Saturday, April 3, 2010

Platypus - a Singular Animal, Since It's Hard to Say Two of Them

Unique Australian Animals

"The Platypus is an extremely different Mammal found in Eastern Australia.

"The shy Platypus is found only in eastern Australia, where they live on the edges of rivers and freshwater lakes where burrows can be dug.
The best streams are ones where the banks are strong enough for building their deep burrows, and often these banks overhang the river. During the day, a Platypus often rests in this burrow, but it may spend some hours near the entrance to the burrow, basking in the sun and grooming its dense fur. But Platypuses (or platypi) are most active for several hours after dusk and before dawn....

I think that many people, when they first see a platypus, can immediately identify it as a - thing.

Sort of like a duck, except the "bill" is leathery - and has an electric sense that sharks have and we don't. It's obviously a mammal, since it has fur - but then there's that bill, and it lays eggs.

The article has among the most distracting and pointless animations I've seen in years - but it's informative and includes quite a few photos. As a sort of introduction to this unlikely - thing - it's pretty good.

I haven't tracked this story down, but I've heard that the when the first European scientists got a specimen, they didn't believe it. If that's so, I can't say that I blame them. The platypus is one odd critter.

And one of them is a secret agent. In a cartoon series, anyway: Phineas and Ferb.

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