Ornithorhynchus anatinus Omnivore Nocturnal Status: Least concern
This duckbilled, egg-laying, beaver-tailed, venomous mammal astonished the first European naturalists to encounter it, and early specimens were thought to be hoaxes. The platypus and echidna are the only living monotremes, the sole mammals to lay eggs and to use electrolocation to detect prey.
Like the Tasmanian devil, a platypus stores fat in its tail. Its interclavicle bone is unique among mammals and its gait is similar to a reptile’s because its legs are attached to the sides of its body. Males have a venom-producing ankle spur, which may be used to impair rivals during the mating season.
Photo courtesy of Caleb McElrea.