4 Stories

Search Is On for Platypus Killer

Wildlife officials call 3 killings, including 2 beheadings, 'despicable act of cruelty'

(Newser) - Wildlife officials are calling it "a despicable act of cruelty to one of Australia's most loved animals." Over the last five weeks, three platypuses have been killed and dumped in a botanical garden in New South Wales, despite the fact that the animal is protected across the... More »

New Fossil Find: 'Platypus-Zilla'

3-foot-long creature lived between 5M and 15M years ago: scientists

(Newser) - As if platypuses weren't weird enough already, scientists in Australia have come upon a fossilized tooth of what they're calling "platypus-zilla"—a creature some three feet long, or at least twice the size of your everyday platypus. "It probably would have looked like a platypus... More »

4 Animals With Crazy Abilities

Sierra Club list includes tigers, thanks to their whiskers

(Newser) - How does a tiger know when its prey is dead? It uses its ultra-sensitive whiskers to detect a pulse, or lack thereof. So says the Sierra Club in rounding up four animals with "superhero" abilities. Those whiskers have sensitive nerve endings, and after a tiger takes down its prey,... More »

Here's Why Platypus Look So Goofy

Scientist decode its DNA, see part mammal, part reptile

(Newser) - Scientists have decoded the genome of the duck-billed platypus, National Geographic reports, with their findings as interesting as they expected. Research, published in Nature, confirms that the platypus is the earliest living offshoot of mammalian evolution, yet retains many genetic throwbacks to reptilian ancestors thought to have lived 300 million... More »

4 Stories