I have just had a question put to me. A question that has been asked of me many times over the years. It is a question that should ne answered in Junior School!
"Is a Platypus a mammal?"
When a Platypus was first brought to Europe (dead) nobody would believe that it was a real animal. Most "experts" assumed that it was two or three animals "stitched together". When they couldn't find the stitches they were puzzled.It was unlike anything seen before. And what the "experts" were told was just too ridiculous!
Obviously an animal; but it had the beak of a bird,but had fur not feathers.It did not have wings, but had four legs! It had webbed feet. It laid eggs, but suckled its young!
It was a hybrid! A monster! A freak! A mistake of Nature!
So, is it really a mammal?
It has the three things needed to be classed as a mammal.Warm blood; mammary glands (nipples); and a skeleton with exactly the same number of bones, and in the same place as every other mammal.
So, is the Platypus a mammal? Yes. it is!
It always surprises children (and quite a few adults!) when I tell them that horses have the same number of fingers and toes as they have themselves.But it's true!
We are mammals; and our skeletons are the same as horses, whales, tigers, or elephants. The bones may not be the same size;but they are in the same place!
You don't believe it?
Look at the pictures of skeletons!