This unique animal is one of the symbols of Australia. The platypus is depicted on the reverse of the Australian 20 cent.
The platypus was first discovered in the 18th century during the colonization of New South Wales. At that time it was identified as "an amphibious animal of the genus of moles."
The skin of a platypus was first brought to England in 1797, when the unusual animal caused fierce controversy in the scientific community. At first, the hide was considered a fake by a taxidermist. But doubts were dispelled by George Shaw, who examined the skin for the presence of stitches and did not find them. He also gave the name to the new species in 1799.
The platypus is a poisonous mammal. Males have spurs on their hind legs, from which toxins are released during the mating season. Platypus venom can kill a small animal, but not a person. In a person, it will cause severe pain and edema forms at the injection site, which spreads to the entire limb.
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