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Year 7 & 8 TOC

Wow science

The platypus puzzle

When people first discovered the platypus they were very confused! It didn’t conform with known taxonomies and understanding of what animals should be. It looked like it was a strange fusion of different animals. It was so strange in fact, that scientists thought it was a joke when they first saw one.

Watch the video below titled ‘What are you’ to learn more about the Platypus. Then read the article below by Emily Osterloff to learn more about why the Platypus challenged our understanding of mammals. Once you’re done, try the questions at the bottom of this page. 

Article source: https://www.nhm.ac.uk/discover/the-platypus-puzzle.html


  1. What is the scientific name for a Platypus.
  2. What subgroup of mammals does the Platypus belong too? 
  3. How did Platypus initially challenge taxonomists?
  4. What are 2 features unique to Platypuses, not found in other mammalian subgroups?


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