The platypus

When the first platypus specimen was sent back to England from Australia in the late 18th century, the scientists who examined it thought that someone was playing a trick on them. The zoologist George Shaw wrote in the first scientific description of the platypus that he thought the specimen was a mix of a few different species.

The platypus is one of the most unusual animals on the planet. It is a mammal that lays eggs. Instead of a stomach, its esophagus connects directly to its intestines. Also, the main function of the platypus's tail is just to store up to almost half of the animal's body fat in case of a food shortage.

A platypus's bill has thousands of cells that give it a sort of sixth sense, allowing it to detect the electric fields generated by all living things. It’s so sensitive that the platypus can hunt with its eyes, ears, and nose all closed.

With a bill like a duck’s, a body like a hamster’s, and a tail like a beaver’s, the platypus truly is a creature like no other.

specimen [noun] /SPES-uh-muhn/—something shown or examined as an example

esophagus [noun] /ih-SOF-uh-guhs/—the tube in the body that carries food from the mouth to the stomach

sixth sense [noun]— an ability to know something without using the ordinary five senses of sight, hearing, smell, touch, and taste

Have you ever heard of the platypus before? If so, what did you think about it? Do Homework
Can you think of any other unusual animal? Please describe it. Do Homework
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