Thursday, May 08, 2008

Platypus Momma?


I'd have to say that, right behind possums, I love platypus. One of my avatars for a local community blog is a picture of a platypus. I love platypus because they're so bizarre. Well, it looks like someone decoded the genome of the platypus.

Arguably the oddest beast in Nature's menagerie, the platypus looks as if were
assembled from spare parts left over after the animal kingdom was otherwise
complete.


What does Robin Williams say? Something about a creator smoking dope when making the platypus? I once asked an evangelical creationist about the platypus and they said that the animal was "a prime example" that god must exist because nothing that "random" would evolve.

Now scientists know why. According to a study released Wednesday, the egg-laying
critter is a genetic potpourri -- part bird, part reptile and part lactating
mammal.

Wow. I didn't see that one coming. How cool is that?

"The platypus genome is extremely important, because it is the missing link in
our understanding of how we and other mammals first evolved," explained Oxford
University's Chris Ponting, one of the study's architects.


I can't wait to see Kent Hovind's jailhouse discussion with God about the platypus. I'm not sure if I like that they used the term "missing link". Who wants to lay odds on how fast Kirk and Ray will have a Way of the Master episode saying, "Evolutionists want you to believe that you came from a platypus..." *rolls eyes*

Anyway...it's a really cool article. And, how many other blog entries, that you know of, used the word platypus nine times? ;)

15 comments:

Sean the Blogonaut F.C.D. said...

(Jack Black voice)

"And where does it come from Baby! that's right, Australia baby! Move along-next missing link"

Mumbochick said...

I've heard creationist say that the platypus is proof that god has a "sense of humor." egads

Half rabbit said...

And where does it come from Baby! that's right, Australia

And then forget about going to Seans town :), come to mine instead. It is the where platypus expert Henry Burrell studied them (he brought the first live platypus to the USA). It's only a 300meter walk to where they play from where I live.

Theres even a old platypusary in a shed. (irrelevant I know but the word just flows in your mouth)

Half rabbit said...

And then forget about going to Seans town :), come to mine instead.

actually now that I think of it have you already come? A family of possums keep on running across the roof and then coming down to stare at me.
photo I took of one of them about four days ago

redd said...

Well, I've always had trouble explaining what 'family' the platypus falls into...mammal, bird, etc.

Now I can tell the kids it fits almost anywhere you want to put it!

Half-rabbit,
Your opossums look different from ours.
http://tinyurl.com/4dbn7e

My favorite opossum joke:

Why did the chicken cross the road?



To prove to the possum that it could be done!

Carlie said...

Also, instead of one X and one Y chromosome to determine sex, they have 10. Weird all around.

Half rabbit said...

redd, that's because it's a actual possum and not a opossum. (discounting the fact opossums are sometimes unofficial referred to as just possums) They're quite different to opossums and live in tree's. Ours sometimes come down to stare and eat fruit if you leave it out for them.
wikipedia link on them

Eamon Knight said...

According to a study released Wednesday, the egg-laying critter is a genetic potpourri -- part bird, part reptile and part lactating mammal.

I kind of wish the news report didn't phrase it that way -- it makes it sound like the platypus is the common ancestor, or some weird hybrid, of all of those, which of course is nonsense (and there's already enough of that kind of confusion due to its anatomy). I assume the significance of this is that the platypus preserves some genetics from the earliest mamals, close to when Amniota split up.

Of course, Aves as such came along much later -- this is really a basal dinosaurian artifact we're looking at here. Assuming the "avian" genetic component really is primitive and not convergent, this should tell us something about dino genetics, and help elucidate details of the Ammiote split.

Carrie said...

Has anybody tried to give Kirk Cameron a picture of a platypus, label it a "badger-duck," and collect the $10K for evidence of a transitional specie?

Berlzebub said...

According to some, they are also part snake. Well, that's a bit of a stretch, but the males could possibly be one of the few venomous mammals.

I remember seeing a show on it, and wondering if it was a spoof. Still, if you add that to the Platypus' already hodgepodge anatomy it makes it really cool.

Milo Johnson said...

Eamon beat me to it and said it better, thanks for saving me from myself! I'm of an age where I grew up being told how "primitive" and undeveloped platypi were compared to modern mammals, and recently I saw a great documentary on platypus life and reproduction and was completely astonished to see a lithe, quick, graceful, inquisitive, clever, bold, and beautifully engaging little creature as the reality. I've always been fond of their exotic appearance, but now I am fascinated by them because of how very wrong I was before, thinking them to be slow, dull-witted creatures that could only survive in a modern world by being geographically isolated as they are. It's too bad there are only a couple of members of the monotreme family left on this planet. However, it's good to be reminded that you're never too old to learn.

ozatheist said...

one news report said that the venom was used on their offspring, it boosts the immune system preventing infection from their living environment.

"Gee, thanks Dad, I really appreciate you pouring poison all over me."

Platypus are a very weird creature.

popeyemoon said...

On the TODAY show,I saw the Duggers,and they are going to have another child #18.

Anonymous said...

dugger 18th! on way.
Susan B. From iPod Touch.

Amy said...

Apologies that this has loving to do with th elovable platypus, but I've just heard that Ma Duggar is pregnant with #18:
http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/24537885