On One Hand

March 25, 2009

Proof God created the Duckbill Platypus when he was still an intern

Filed under: Uncategorized — ononehand @ 12:03 am

There is nothing more bizarre to wikipedia-surf across than the platypus, something that was surely barfed up from the depths of God’s garbage disposal made of spare parts from other creatures.

A common myth about the Platypus is that it is somehow the first mammal or ancestor of mammals, or a bridge between mammals and ancestral reptiles. But with hundreds of millions of years to evolve, the platypus has gathered traits that are nothing like other mammals or reptiles. Traits include:

Egg-laying: One of 2 mammals that lay eggs. The eggs are less than a half an inch across, leathery and soft and hatch after 10 days.
Venom: Males have “fangs” on rear ankles with venom that causes extreme pain in humans and kills smaller animals. After the venom wears off, the nervous system will be more pain-sensitive for weeks and it has been found to be unaffected by morphine.
Electrolocation: The duckbill platypus can detect electric currents with its bill. It uses this sense to pick up on electric signals released by muscle contractions of its prey.
Lick Nursing: The duckbill platypus doesn’t have nipples. It secretes milk through pores in its chest. The milk flows into grooves where the babies lick it up.
Ovarian Asymmetry: In a female platypus, only one ovary works while the other is vestigial.
Reverse Teething: A baby platypus hatches from the egg with teeth but will lose them by adulthood.
Extreme gender dimorphism: A platypus has ten sex chromosomes instead of two, so a male will have XYXYXYXYXY sex chromosomes rather than XY sex chromosomes.
Survivability: Close relatives of the platypus date to the Cretaceous period, which means they co-existed with dinosaurs and survived the K-T extinction event. The distribution fossils across continents indicates they date back farther, to the Jurassic when South America, Antarctica and Australia were still fused together. That means that dinosaurs were less than halfway through their domination when the genus was established and widespread.
Fat Storage: A platypus tail is full of fat like a camel’s hump.
Ear Placement: The invisible ears of a platypus are at the corners of its mouth.
Webbed Feet: The feet of a platypus resemble those of a duck, but the front feet are about twice the size of the rear feet.
Cheek Pouches: The platypus carries its prey in its cheeks to be eaten comfortably on land.
Extensive Burrowing: The female raises its young in tunnels into the ground that are over 60 feet long. When she leaves the burrow to find food she plugs it off with dirt and breaks the barrier when she returns.


1 Comment »

  1. ok, the venom thing sort of blew my mind.

    also, look up coconut crabs. and watch videos. they rule.

    Comment by volatile_freq — March 27, 2009 @ 2:59 pm | Reply

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