The platypus is one of the few mammals to produce venom. The male has a pair of spurs on the hind limbs through which it delivers a cocktail of poisons that, while excruciatingly painful, is not lethal to most animals.
The bizarre appearance of this egg-laying, venomous, duck-billed, beaver-tailed, otter-footed mammal baffled European naturalists when they first encountered it, with some considering it an elaborate fraud. It is one of the few 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 is featured on the reverse of the Australian 20 cent coin.
Boy, those "European naturalists" sure were easily impressed.
…and yes, I DID steal my pictures from Wikipedia.
Posted: April 22nd, 2008
at 8:20am by Black Ock
Comments: 5 comments
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