For The Curious: Gene Mapping Shows What the Platypus Is Made Of


Well, the joke did always talk about the platypus being a mix of three creatures, and it appears that it’s correct on a genetic level.

And part secret agent! :stuck_out_tongue:

Someone has kids in the house.


No kids in this house, and I know ALL ABOUT the secret agent part!

I had no idea about the venom. Very interesting. I wonder if this is the only animal which uses venom in a mating strategy? I’ve only ever heard of it as a primary feeding strategy for killing/stunning and as a secondary purpose of self-defense.

I don’t understand why this would be surprising. They have a bill, and lay eggs, of course they have a bird-like reproductive system. That would have been my first guess.

Why yes, yes you do.

Part mammal, part bird, and part reptile. How did that happen?

"Dear Penthouse, I never thought this would happen to me, but a crocodile with a duck on her back walked into my bar and…

So… umm… can you milk a platypus?

Sort of. It oozes from the chest.

Right. She doesn’t have nipples per say, just holes or pores that the milk oozes out of. The babies lick, not suckle.


The real question is why, exactly, I know how platypi lactate without looking it up. I mean, off the top of my head, I know this answer.

There’s something horribly wrong with me.

All I can say is, I want to know about this.

Holy crap, what a strange animal!

Venom as a mating strategy? Did I miss something in the article?

Hey, where’s Perry?

As to venom involved in the mating strategy, I’ve known some people like that.

The platypus is no more closely related to birds than is any other mammal. They lay eggs as a holdover from a time when (almost) all amniotes laid eggs, not because they have a special relationship with birds. The bill and webbed feet are convergent evolution. Hence surprise when platypuses share other characteristics with birds.

The article is vague, and I can’t be bothered to look up the actual information, but from what it said, my guess is that the platypus uses a ZW sex determination system, like birds, rather than an XY system, like mammals. In a ZW system, the male is XX and the female is XY - opposite of how we do it. That’s just a WAG, though, and anyone is welcome to prove me wrong.

I knew about the milking part AND the venom.
I sometimes worry that information like this takes up brain cells I could be using for things that are a little more relevant to my actual life.

That was my understanding as well.

Antigen- the males use their poison when they fight for females. I don’t know how potent it is to a fellow platypus.