Thursday, October 18, 2007

Palm sized platypus!

Isn't he cute?? My boyfriend got me this little guy in Montana, of all places. And he gave it to me the night he asked me to be his girlfriend... AWWWWW. Seriously though, it takes a special boy to scour the mid-west for monotreme souvenirs.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Same old platypusary.

So, perhaps you are wondering, what exactly IS a "platypusary"? Or perhaps you were not even aware that this was, in fact, an actual item. Well, read on. Here is one:

The image is from p. 175 of Ann Moyal's platypus tome, which I have to return to the library tomorrow, sadly. The pictured gentleman, Harry Burrell, was a real pioneer of platypus studies. He was the first to successfully keep the critters in captivity, in, yes, the platypusary! It contained a sandy area, connected by a tube (representing the long burrow) to a water area. The burrow is important because the plat has to dry off by squeezing through on the way to the sand. In the past, platypuses had languished in bathtubs and other too-watery environs. Burrell also closely observed what, and how much, plats ate, which had been another huge stumbling block. Apparently they eat way more than anyone would have surmised. The portability of the platypusary is another important factor, because that was what let platypuses be transported long distances, even to a zoo in America, introducing them to the world outside Australia. This, of course, was before it was illegal to take them to other countries.

So, don't you all want to make a platypusary? Get building on your portable platypus home!!

Monday, October 15, 2007

So, you're a platypus?

Check out this ad for the Honda Element on Youtube. It's pretty kickin'. I guess someone must have said "So, an SUV runs into a monotreme at a bar..." and this was the result.

Platypus of the Day:

Not sure what this little tyke's name is... I christen him Fattypus.

The image is from platypus pool, which just added some cute new pictures to their "Platypuses and People: Friends Forever" section. Also, I might add that when I criticized the accuracy of this site in the past, I was not aware of the two different types of echidna! So perhaps they were right in their "three monotreme" assertion. I am still not sure if the two are actually different species though. Will look into it!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Echidna Special!

Even his mother had trouble with this face.

In doing some research online, I discovered that the University of Tasmania actually has a monotreme research center. Amazing!! Here is the link. This site is pretty fabulous, and so informative. It is about both platys and echidnas, but I was surprised to find that there is more info on the platy's spiny cousin. It was so interesting, I just had to share some.

First off, I learned that echidnas actually do come in two different varieties! Apparently there is a straight beak and a curved beak echidna... fascinating.

Whichida chidna is which??
The one on the left is the straight beak echidna, found in Australia and Southern New Guinea, and the one on the right is the curved beak echidna, found only in New Guinea. The straight beaker is smaller, though here they look about the same.

Teeeeny little hatchling:

Oh. man. I am totally baffled by the teeniness of this little guy. I'm guessing that's what baby platys start out like too!! I have been trying to find a picture of one for quite some time, and this is getting close. Seriously, wow! I also learned that echidna mommies, unlike plats, usually only lay one egg. Plats, you might recall, almost always lay two. And this little bean creature will grow into the ugly little gremlin above! Talk about an awkward adolescence. Don't feed him after midnight!! That image just cracks me up.

There is a bit of info on platys also, including this darling picture:

Hiiii little guy!!

So, check that website out. You will learn lots, and have lots of fun... and wish you had gone to school in Tasmania.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Favorite Stuffed Plats!

Lots of stuffed platys are available from various sources. Here are a few of my faves:

This Place Is a Zoo
I think this is just about my favorite... very realistic feet and bill, and so snuggly looking! I've got to get my hands on this one.

Kulamakua Waldorf (Hawaii)
This one is sooo adorable! Hand-made by a student in Honolulu... I guess it's not for sale but how endearing!!

Australian Geographic
This is a little guy with a big old schnoz!

Stuffed Ark
This is the Fiesta platypus that my mom gave me for my birthday! Let me tell you, he is the king of snuggle.

Animal World
My platy, with a little bro! How sweet.

Oh, stuffed platys, I could snuggle them forever!!!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Sponsor a Platypus!

This wacky image can be found at In fact, it's the only thing there! I don't know what it is or why, but somebody made it and they are awesome.

For only $10 Australian (that's only $8.99 USD) you can sponsor one of four platypi at the Australian Platypus Concervancy! Check out their great website and sponsor Lucky, Little Notch, Double Trouble, or Magellan. With a sweet price like that, how can you go wrong?? Better act soon, while the AUD is still weaker than our money... chances are that won't be long. The website also includes recommended platypus reading, lots of facts, and some fun products you can buy. I'm totally going to sponsor Magellan.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Platypus Grafitti!

Yes, it's true... someone in Brooklyn tagged up a platypus in the bathroom at the Brooklyn Museum. I was lucky enough to visit the very stall where it was written last February, and snapped a picture with my cell phone.

Note that this clever writer used the "pi" symbol as that last two letters of the word "platypi". Ingenious! The drawing may leave a bit to be desired, but hey, it's totally awesome anyway.

Historical Platypus of the Day:

This is Corrie, the first platypus ever born in captivity. He was born at the Healesville Sanctuary in 1944, with the efforts of platypus keeper David Fleay. The next platys to be born in captivity were the twins I showed you earlier, and that wasn't until 1994! Wow! Also, as you can see, Corrie was a very cute little animal. I would assume he had been de-spurred, if that's possible. I will look into that topic for next time.

But for now, enjoy your Indigenous Peoples/ Columbus/ Leif Eriksson Day.