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The platypus, the mammal that lays eggs


This curious mammal, Ornithorhynchus anatinus, who lives in the eastern part of Australia, is like the missing link that unites mammals, birds and reptiles. When was first saw by British naturalists, thought it was a fake. We believe there is a lot of features that makes it curious. Equidna is the other mammal that lay eggs.

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The mouth looks like a duck, the tail of a beaver, legs are a mix between otter and duck. To reproduce, after 28 days to develop inside the mother, she lays eggs, which take 10 days to be hatched outside. But the babies at birth, “suck” in quotes because they haven’t nipples, but have glands that expel milk, as if were sweating. Also they are born with teeth, but lose it within a few days.

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Click on pics to enlarge.

The males have a poisonous spur on its hind legs, the sting is not fatal, but causes intense pain that can last for months and even morphine will not calm it. They have 10 sex chromosomes (the other mammals have 2) and share unique genes of birds, reptiles and amphibians. They feed on crabs, shrimp, worms, insects … and help to hunt a method called electrolocation. That is, they are able to perceive the weak electrical impulses that produce moving animals.

As you can see, the platypus is a very distinctive animal, if not unique. He became well known thanks to Perry the Platypus (Agent P) cartoons.

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