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Platypuses are Poisonous!

Platypuses, like echidnas, are among the oldest animals that have survived only in Australia. They look very cute and cute. But it turned out that these animals are by no means defenseless, they are capable of producing poison containing more than eighty toxins.

Research led by geneticist Wesley Warren of the University of Washington, Missouri, has shown that the composition of the venom is very similar to that of snakes, lizards, sea anemones, and starfish. That is, this is one of the examples of convergent evolution, the phenomena in which similar organs and properties arise in different classes of living organisms.

Platypuses are semi-aquatic mammals of the order monotremes and are one of the very few mammals that produce venom. Young platypuses have horny spurs on their hind legs. In females, they fall off in ode, and in males, they continue to develop and reach 1.2-1.5 cm by puberty. The spurs are connected by ducts with the femoral gland. It is she who produces a poisonous cocktail during the mating season. And males use their spurs during mating fights.

Platypus venom is capable of killing a medium-sized animal, such as a dingo. For a person, it is not fatal, but painful enough.

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