Cute Baby Platypus People Are Sharing Online Is Actually A Rock
I’m not going to lie, I’m an absolute sucker for a baby animal picture or video, so it comes as no surprise to me that the people of the internet were going crazy over this ‘baby platypus’ picture.
A photo has been doing the rounds on social media of what was believed to be an adorable baby platypus, with the little baba even being dressed up by several Twitter users – and it’s so bloody cute.
But sadly all is not as it seems, because the so-called baby platypus the internet has fallen in love with is actually… a rock, according to IFL Science. Yep, the cute, meme-able creature has actually been revealed to be a statue by artist Vladimir Matić-Kuriljov. You’ve got to commend his work, really, fooling all those people.
The good news is, however, that people have taken to sharing real photos of baby platypuses – which are actually called puggles (how cute!) – all over social media, and they are even more adorable and gorgeous than the statue. The world has been put to rights.
While platypuses are undeniably cute, they’re actually one of only a handful of venomous mammals, as males have venomous spurs on their backfeed, as well as a bill that detects electrical fields and lays eggs.
Rather miraculously, the unusual creatures also manage to nurse their young, despite the fact their bodies do not have nipples. Instead, they produce milk out of their mammary gland ducts, where it collects in the folds in their skin. Babies then suck it up from their fur or lap it up from between its parents’ folds.
Sadly, these incredible creatures are disappearing at an alarming rate, with Tahneal Hawke, a PhD candidate at the University of New South Wales and a researcher with the Platypus Conservation Initiative explaining to National Geographic: ‘The platypus has declined right in front of our noses. We have a huge area across the range of the platypus where we literally don’t know if they’re even there or in what numbers if they are.’
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