Saturday, March 01, 2014

National Platypus day 2014: "Ornithorhynchus—grotesquest of animals, king of the animalculae of the world for versatility of character and make-up"

2014.01.31-IMG_8303In honor of National Platypus Day 2014, here's a quote on my favorite monotremes, the Platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus)  and an illustration of the little creature from a volume on display at the Melbourne Museum during BHL Day 2014.
Speaking of the indigenous coneys and bactrian camels, the naturalist said that the coniferous and bacteriological output of Australasia was remarkable for its many and curious departures from the accepted laws governing these species of tubercles, but that in his opinion Nature's fondness for dabbling in the erratic was most notably exhibited in that curious combination of bird, fish, amphibian, burrower, crawler, quadruped, and Christian called the Ornithorhynchus—grotesquest of animals, king of the animalculae of the world for versatility of character and make-up
 - Mark Twain, Following the Equator

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