Tuesday, 4 May 2010
ABC Wednesday P for Platypus
Click to enlarge.
Tomorrow my daughter from Australia is coming with her family, that's why I write entries about Australia. The header shows a photo taken in the Tablelands in Queensland. When we were there in 2008, we tried to find this remarkable animal, the platypus. We were told that if we walked along this water, we might see this shy and rare animal, native to Australia. It is such a strange creature that the first Europeans, who came back in their homeland, were not believed that it really existed. It has the bill of a duck and the body of a mammal, it lays eggs, but it feeds the babies with milk.
Wikipedia says:"The Platypus is a semi-aquatic 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. It is the sole living representative of its family (Ornithorhynchidae) and genus (Ornithorhynchus), though a number of related species have been found in the fossil record.
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 recognisable 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. The Platypus is the animal emblem of the state of New South Wales".
With thanks to Denise Nesbitt, who created ABC.For more interesting ABC posts click on the logo in the sidebar or Here. This week we are looking for words beginning with P.