By: Alex R.
The platypus is well known for being a monotreme, an egg-laying mammal, like the echidna. A fresh water creature native to Australia, the platypus usually feeds on small crustaceans like crayfish, and it isn’t that large (maybe a little more than a foot long). But, a new discovery has been made about this animal’s ancestor based off of a fossilized tooth discovered in Queensland, Australia. The tooth belongs to a 5-15 million-year-old platypus called Obdurodon tharalkooschild, and this animal was much different than the modern platypus. Judging from the bumps and ridges on the tooth, this platypus was a carnivore, having been able to have eaten frogs and turtles. Not only is this diet extremely different from the platypus living today, but it also suggests that Obdurodon tharalkooschild was much larger (about a meter long). This contradicts what scientists have previously thought about the size of ancient platypuses. (Read more…)