The Platypus (ornithorhynchus anatinus) is surely one of the strangest living mammals, with a snout resembling a ducks bill, a tail like a beaver's and clawed feet.


The bill of the platypus is thought to contain an organ for detecting the electrical pulses produced by prey. Platypuses live in burrows in stream banks in Eastern and south-eastern Australia and Tasmania, which they create with their powerful front legs. There are two kinds of burrow: one for shelter and one for incubation. If their appearance isn't strange enough, the platypus is also a monotreme, which means that although they have mammal qualities, they also lay eggs. There are only three known monotremes, the other two being the Long and the Short Nosed Echidna. The males also possess spurs on the backs of their legs that are attatched to venom glands. The venom is enough to kill dogs, and can cause excruciating pain to humans. The spurs are used for fighting. The word, 'platypus' means 'flat-footed,' which, in my opinion, is the least strange thing about it. But, this name has already been used for a group of flat-footed beetle

s, so the official name was changed to, 'Ornithorhynchus' which means, 'bird billed.' Ornithorhynchus is the scientific term, but the name platypus has stuck. The platypus does not have teats, so instead excretes milk from its furry underside for its baby to feed on.