What is it? Stitched together with the spare parts of other creatures, the Platypus has the body of a beaver and the face of a duck.
When specimens from Australia arrived in Europe in the 18th century, biologists thought they were looking at a taxidermist’s hoax. Marlowe Hood explains that scientists studying the genomes of the platypus have had a break-through in classifying it. They’ve discovered that this egg-laying critter really is a genetic stew — part bird, part reptile and part lactating mammal.