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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Wednesday; Platypus;



     Old Man Platypus
   
Far from the trouble and toil of town,
Where the reed beds sweep and shiver,
Look at a fragment of velvet brown–
Old Man Platypus drifting down,
Drifting along the river.

And he plays and dives in the river bends
In a style that is most elusive;
With few relations and fewer friends,
For Old Man Platypus descends
From a family most exclusive.

He shares his burrow beneath the bank
With his wife and his son and daughter
At the roots of the reeds and the grasses rank;
And the bubbles show where our hero sank
To its entrance under water.

Safe in their burrow below the falls
They live in a world of wonder,
Where no one visits and no one calls,
They sleep like little brown billiard balls
With their beaks tucked neatly under.

And he talks in a deep unfriendly growl
As he goes on his journey lonely;
For he’s no relation to fish nor fowl,
Nor to bird nor beast, nor to horned owl;
In fact, he’s the one and only!

Banjo Patterson 1864-1941



The platypus is a semiaquatic mammal endemic to eastern Australia, including Tasmania. Together with the four species of echidna, it is one of the five extant species of monotremes, the only mammals that lay eggs instead of giving birth. 

The unusual appearance of this egg-laying, duck-billed, beaver-tailed, otter-footed mammal baffled European naturalists when they first encountered it, with some considering it an elaborate fraud. 
It is one of the few venomous mammals, the male platypus having a spur on the hind foot that delivers a venom capable of causing severe pain to humans. The unique features of the platypus make it an important subject in the study of evolutionary biology and a recognizable and iconic symbol of Australia; 

Scientific name: Ornithorhynchus anatinus
Lifespan: 17 y (In captivity)
Mass: 0.7 – 2.4 kg
Rank: Species
Daily sleep: 14 h on average
Length: 50 cm on average (Male, Adult), 43 cm on average (Female, Adult)


Courtesy Wikipedia


1 comment:

  1. Oh such a sweet and interesting tale. He's adorable in my book!

    ReplyDelete