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Platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus)
The Platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) is a semi-aquatic mammal endemic to eastern Australia, including Tasmania. Together with the four species of echidna, it is one of the five extant species of monotremes, the only mammals that lay eggs instead of giving birth to live young. It is the sole living representative of its family (Ornithorhynchidae) and genus (Ornithorhynchus), though a number of related species have been found in the fossil record. The bizarre appearance of this egg-laying, duck-billed mammal baffled naturalists when it was first discovered, with some considering it an ela...
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Amphibians Come Under Study
by Rex Dalton, San Diego
A disturbing trend of population declines and birth deformities in amphibians has prompted a US federal agency to launch an ambitious research programme. The national Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative (ARMI) has been set up by the US Department of the Interior with $5 million to study why frogs, salamanders and toads are in such trouble. An additional $2 million is being sought for next year's budget.
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Location: Amphibians