An international team of researchers led by the University of Copenhagen has mapped the platypus’ genome to explain the unusual nature of its origin.
Similar to the beaver and platypus, the Australian platypus is often considered the strangest mammal in the world. It has many strange characteristics: it lays eggs instead of having children, it sweats milk, it has poisonous spurs, and has 10 sex chromosomes.
Modern researchers are still trying to understand how the platypus became so unique. For the first time, an international team of researchers led by biologists from the University of Copenhagen has painted the complete genome of a platypus.
It turned out that the platypus belongs to the ancient group of mammals – monotremes: it existed for millions of years before the appearance of all modern mammals. The platypus belongs to the mammalian class, but genetically it is a mixture of mammals, birds, and reptiles. He retained many of the unique traits of his ancestors, which probably contribute to his successful adaptation to the environment in which they live.