Duck Puppy
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πŸ“Έ by @chasingronin & @wildwaystours

The duck-billed platypus was considered a myth until scientists first got their hands on a preserved specimen in 1799, and even then it was deemed to be a hoax – they believed that someone had taken the time to sew different animal parts together and pass it off as a new species.

Can you really blame them? They are by and large one of the weirdest looking mammals on earth – they have a tail like a beaver, the body and fur of an otter and the webbed feet and bill of a duck.

The females of this species lay eggs – they along with echidnas are the only mammals we know of so far that do not give birth to live young.

Male platypus are equipped with a defensive stinger on their back feet, they use it to inject venom into anything that gets too close for comfort.

They also don’t have stomachs. Their mouths just feed directly into their small intestine.

They used to have stomachs, but over millions of years they evolved and deemed their acid-filled food sacs a waste of space and valuable energy.

It is worth noting that they aren’t the only vertebrates without stomachs, echidnas, (previously mentioned) along with 25% of fish species have evolved back to their pre-stomach ways.

Here are some other facts that solidify the platypus’ oddball status:

They don’t have teeth, so they chew gravel to break up food.
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Special cells in their bill allow them to detect electrical fields.
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They store up to half of their total body fat in their tail.
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The webbing on their feet is retractable.
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They nurse their young without nipples

I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say they’re odd.

#natureismetal

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