The duck-billed platypus (Platypus anatinus) was the name assigned to one of the most remarkable of known animals by George Shaw (1751-1813), who had the good fortune to introduce it to the notice of the scientific world in the Naturalist's Miscellany (vol.
The platypus is aquatic in its habits, passing most of its time in the water or close to the margin of lakes and streams, swimming and diving with the greatest ease, and forming for the purpose of sleeping and breeding deep burrows in the banks, which generally have two orifices, one just above the water level, concealed among long grass and leaves, and the other below the surface.
Caldwell showed that it was filled with yolk, and finally established the fact that Platypus as well as Echidna is oviparous.
Australia and Tasmania possess two animals of this order - the echidna, or spiny ant-eater (hairy in Tasmania), and the Platypus anatinus, the duckbilled water mole, otherwise named the Ornithorhynchus paradoxus.
Adult monotremes are in like case, although the duckbilled platypus (Ornithorhynchus) has teeth when young on the sides of the jaws.