"In the beginning"

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The views expressed in this blog are not necessarily the views of the blog management, (on the other hand, they are not necessarily not the views of the blog management).

No effort has been made to stay within the bounds of the truth in this blog as it has always been the view of the management that the truth should never be allowed to stand in the way of a good story.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Ornithorhynchus anatinus

An odd assortment of left over bits combined to make the Platypus.


A lot of our Australian native animals are unique and many are just a tad strange, at the head of the strange list comes the Platypus, (sometimes referred to as the duck billed Platypus) when this animal was first discovered all who saw it were amazed in fact when the first specimens (dead) were sent to London the museum curator tried to dismantle it as he was convinced that it was a practical joke and had been assembled from body parts of other animals.
The Platypus has a body similar to a Beaver, webbed feet, a snout not unlike a ducks bill, a broad flat tail and the male has venomous spurs on his rear ankles.... it gets better though, this mammal lays eggs to reproduce, this led to the naming of a whole new species, Monotremes, which consists of the Platypus and 4 members of the Echidna family (also Australian) they remain in the mammal family because the female produces milk to feed her young, as she has no teats this milk is exuded through pores in her skin and lapped up by the young from pools that form on her stomach.
All that should have been enough for the poor old Platypus to bear without having the zooilogical name of Ornithorhynchus anatinus bestowed upon it, fortunately the much simpler name Platypus has stuck with it.
These small animals are excellent swimmers, they spend 30/40 seconds at a time rummaging with
their snouts for food in the mud and gravel of the stream bed near their home which is a burrow
dug in the stream bank just above the water line, these burrows are usually from 5/8 meters long.
Adults weigh between 1 and 2 kgs (2 to 5 lbs) are usually between 17" and 20" in length with the
males at the heavy and long end of the scales.
Truth really is stranger than fiction!!!
Now let me think what can I tell you about next? Oh I know... see ya soon.

10 comments:

Walker said...

I have heard of the Platypus and seem pictures of them before but what surprised me here was their size.
For some reason I thought they were as big a seals.

Rachel said...

Hi Peter! I'm glad you didn't decide to stay away for good. I have been having a blog lull I'd guess you'd call it and not blogging much. It does take lots of time to do it all. That's my biggest problem with blogging. Life gets in the way! But that is a good thing too.

I enjoyed reading about the Platypus. I didn't know much about this animal and I think they are fascinating!

kenju said...

WELCOME BACK!! Tell us about Ayer's Rock - Uluru (I think). It has always fascinated me!

Puss-in-Boots said...

D'you know, I have yet to see a platypus. One day I will, but I realise they're also very shy animals.

Merle said...

Hi Peter ~~ A good start with the old platypus, plural ~ platypi ?
Dad used to try to teach me to spell
ornithorynchus. Do you remember or were you too young. Mind you, I could spell it OK but didn't know what it was. Take care, Love, Merle.

JunieRose2005 said...

Very interesting post, Peter.

I'll see what you come up with next!! :)



June

Dave said...

Excellent post Peter! I learned something new today... *S*

Lightning Bug's Butt said...

Australia just gets more and more charming.

If I weren't an American, I'd be an Australian! That's for sure.

Pamela said...

I think that curator had it right.
Except... he went at it backwards.

I think God just had a bunch of extra parts left over - and he threw them together!

ps. I didn't know that was how the milk was provided.

Hale McKay said...

To me, the platypus is one of the most fascinating animals on the entire planet. Then of course the marsupials are a fascinating lot and you Aussies are hogging them all.

(Well, we do have the opossum here in North America.)