Platypus is plural for platypus

Had an echo-cardiogram yesterday, which is an ultrasound to check out my heart. My rheumatologist is trying to determine the cause of my frequent bouts of shortness of breath. It was a novel experience, watching and listening to the ba-dump of my heart on the monitor. Also a bit painful as my left breast got squashed for a bit as the tech tried to get a clearer image through it.

1. I’m sure the techs wish the heart were smack dab in the middle of the chest instead of off to the left.
2. Men have it easy in so many ways.

Then we went for a brief bout of Christmas shopping before coming home to a lonesome Hobkin who was very glad to see us.

Saw a show on the Discovery channel that I just adored. It was on the platypus. Some scientists fitted a bunch of the (adorable) beasties with radio transmitters and followed them to their burrows and snaked some tiny night vision video cameras in to observe them.

Things I learned:

– The plural for platypus does not appear to be platypuses or platypi, but rather “platypus.”
– These animals have to be the most unlikely things on Earth. Not only do they have a duck’s bill and webbed feet, a beaver’s tail, and lay eggs. But they’re also venomous in that they’ve got a spur on their hind legs which is poisonous AND their tail appears to be prehensile. They showed footage of a female platypus using hers to haul up piles of leaves and sticks to line her burrow with.

An egg-laying mammal, with a bird’s beak, webbed feet, a prehensile beaver tail, and a poisonous spur. Doesn’t it seem like someone just decided to make an animal with whatever spare parts were lying around and the result was the platypus?

There’s a story there . . .

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6 Responses to Platypus is plural for platypus

  1. Is it Greek? Maybe the plural should be platypodes.

    What did they say about the echocardiogram? Did it show anything?

    • Eugie Foster says:

      What did they say about the echocardiogram?

      They’re sending the films off to my rheumatologist for him to hrmmm and ahhh over. If it’s something serious, I suspect he’ll call me to come in before my next follow-up appointment in February. Otherwise I suspect we’ll discuss the results then. So, I’m stuck in “I dunno” mode. Sigh.

  2. leadensky says:

    Don’t you know, that’s Australia for you.

    See, God made the land down under last, after he got tired of making everything else all the same…;)

    – hossgal

  3. puskunk says:

    Only males appear to have the spur, the females lose it during development. And if I remember correctly, Australian settlers didn’t realize they were poisonous until 100 years after they were discovered.

    • Eugie Foster says:

      Australian settlers didn’t realize they were poisonous until 100 years after they were discovered

      Which seems to indicate how much they use the things. There was some mating fights we saw between males and they didn’t use the spurs even then. Peaceful, odd little animals . . .

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