VIDEO: What the platypus?

What sweats milk, navigates with electricity, and poisons romantic rivals?

June 22, 2015

No, that’s not a joke, though the first scientists to study the weird physiology of the platypus thought it was. They assumed that the taxidermist who prepared the platypus specimens they were studying were playing a hoax on them by stitching together body parts from different animals and pretending it was a newly discovered Australian species. It wasn’t. The platypus really does have a host of bizarre features, from electrolocation to mammalian egg laying, that continue to intrigue scientists today.

These adorable five-pound animals are more than just fodder for interesting dinner party conversations. Researchers are seeking to understand how these creatures developed such odd attributes. By studying platypus genetics, ecology, and evolution, they hope to better understand how and when mammals initially split off from reptiles. And platypus venom might even help cure some human diseases.

Platypuses may be funny looking, but they have a lot to offer beyond laughs!

About the Author


1 Comment

pierre wanna says:

what a beautiful video to learn something new, and excellent job. we are very proud of you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


The Scienceline Newsletter

Sign up for regular updates.