There is no animal more confused about its identity than the platypus.
This thing is a mammal that lays eggs. It has a duck bill but a beaver tail, and walks like a reptile. It produces milk but has no teats, instead just kinda sweating it out. It has two ovaries, but only one works. It has extra bones in its shoulder that other mammals don’t, and nobody knows where it got them. It has tons of sex chromosomes – ten in fact, because one pair wasn’t good enough for it; its gender is more complicated than some of my old internet passwords. It has spurs on its hind feet that deliver venom – and again, I can’t stress enough that it’s a mammal despite all this. It is born with teeth that fall out one embarrassing day in fifth grade and it hides in the nurse’s office until school is over. And that’s just the tip of the figurative iceberg (see Weaknesses).
What else do we know about this duck-billed iceberg?
We know the platypus has electrolocation, meaning it can detect prey by the electric fields generated by the movement of muscles. That sounds like a power Grant Morrison made up for a cool splash page, but it’s actually true and it is extremely baller.
Its internal temperature is lower than most normal mammals. That’s how dedicated it is to being chill.
The platypus stores fat in its tail. Given that extra junk in the trunk is so hot right now, it is perfectly poised to be the breakout star of whatever music video awards happen this month.
I should mention here that venom again. Venom! Crazy.
In addition to the above-mentioned conflicting traits, the platypus has had a goth phase, yuppie phase, gymrat phase, rockabilly phase, steampunk phase, dieselwave phase, person-who-wears-a-hat-all-the-time phase, politically active poet phase, eccentric balloonist phase, and many more. It tries on identities like other people try on glasses frames at the store. Fortunately, the above-mentioned chillness remains constant.
Number of legs
Redbook, Ranger Rick.
Is it on a piece of currency?
It is on the 20-cent coin in Australia, opposite the head of Queen Elizabeth II.
What if it fought a bear?
It depends what phase the bear catches it in, but if it’s a street-fighting one, the platypus has a chance.
Is it noble?
The platypus doesn’t always know what kind of dude it wants to be, but it is always my kind of dude. I mean that in a non-gender-specific way. Rock on, you unnecessarily double-ovaried weirdo!