Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Astonishing!












I was completely flabbergasted to discover last night that not only is a Platypus a freak of nature because it's a mammal that has a bill, lays eggs, and has funny flipper feet, but also for a plethora of other freakish reasons. Listen up:

It is one of the few venemous mammals; the male Platypus has a spur on the hind foot which delivers a poison capable of causing severe pain to humans.

Unlike a bird's beak (in which both the upper and lower parts of the beak separate to reveal its mouth), the snout of the Platypus is a sensory organ with the mouth on the underside. The nostrils are located on the dorsal surface of the snout while the eyes and ears are located in a groove set just back from it; this groove is closed when swimming.

Modern Platypus young have three-cusped molars which they lose before or just after leaving the breeding burrow; adults have heavily keratinised pads in their place.

Monotremes are the only mammals known to have a sense of electroreception: they locate their prey in part by detecting electric fields generated by muscular contractions. The Platypus' electroreception is the most sensitive of any monotreme.

The female Platypus has a pair of ovaries but only the left one is functional.
Although possessing mammary glands, the Platypus lacks teats. Instead, milk is released through pores in the skin. There are grooves on her abdomen that form pools of milk, allowing the young to lap it up.

In 2004, researchers at the Australian National University discovered the Platypus has ten sex chromosomes, compared to two (XY) found in most other mammals (for instance, a male Platypus is always XYXYXYXYXY). Furthermore, one of the Platypus' Y chromosomes shares genes with the ZZ/ZW sex chromosomes found in birds. It lacks the mammalian sex-determining gene SRY, meaning that the process of sex determination in the Platypus remains unknown.

Click to read the article at Wikipedia.

2 comments:

FireFly said...

I think i was a Platymus in a past life -?-

craig said...

radical. just when you thought you knew someone...