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Platypus Genome Decoded

samzenpus posted more than 6 years ago | from the a-little-bit-of-everything dept.

Biotech 133

TaeKwonDood writes "Is it reptile, bird or mammal? Some of each. Does it have venom, lay eggs and lactate? Yes. Upon discovery in 1798, fellow scientists thought it was for an episode of 'Thou hast been Punk'd,' but this Australia native, on home on land and in water, is real and, finally, it gets its own decoded genome. It's no surprise the DNA is as messed up as the critter itself."

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133 comments

another link (4, Interesting)

H0D_G (894033) | more than 6 years ago | (#23332582)

also reported by the ABC http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/05/08/2238461.htm [abc.net.au] on a personal note, a platypus is really interesting to watch in the wild. it's movement is quite lizardlike.

Re:another link (3, Informative)

antic (29198) | more than 6 years ago | (#23334860)

Quick fact for those who weren't aware: the platypus, along with the echidna (kinda like an Australian version of a porcupine or hedgehog?), is a 'monotreme'. Essentially, a mammal that lays eggs.

Re:another link (2, Funny)

Bob Gelumph (715872) | more than 6 years ago | (#23335030)

... along with the echidna (kinda like an Australian version of a porcupine or hedgehog?)...
Actually, the porcupine and hedgehog are more like foreign versions of the echidna.

Re:another link (4, Funny)

antic (29198) | more than 6 years ago | (#23335354)

In the same way that you're more like a pedantic version of me? ;)

Re:another link (2, Funny)

erroneus (253617) | more than 6 years ago | (#23335180)

"On a personal note"???

Either "I don't think that means what you think that means" or "How personal, exactly, are you with a platypus?" You may not actually want to answer the latter question because it is illegal in many places.

Re:another link (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 6 years ago | (#23335308)

You may not actually want to answer the latter question because it is illegal in many places.
Not to mention dangerous. The platypus has sharp claws.

Re:another link (5, Interesting)

donscarletti (569232) | more than 6 years ago | (#23335868)

The male platypus actually has venomous [wikipedia.org] spurs on the back of its hind legs, it hasn't been known to kill humans but can cause local paralysis and greater amounts of pain than the bites of many venomous snakes. There are pretty much no other example of anything like what the male platypus has, the sexual dimorphism of the trait, the fact that it's a spine like a poisonous fish not a tooth like all other venomous terrestrial creatures and of course the fact that it is a mammal (or close to it) of which there are very few examples of venom production(more info here [wikipedia.org] ) all make it unique.

The issue with them is that when people are lucky enough to find one (they are surprisingly common but also very secretive) they generally won't associate them with venom, even if they were taught about it before. They look comical and harmless so they handle them and get stung which I guess is fair enough. Ironically, a wild echidna [wikipedia.org] (a spiky monotreme) is quite safe to touch (you still shouldn't do it, though I admit that I once couldn't resist the temptation during a trip through Tasmania).

Sure (0)

daeley (126313) | more than 6 years ago | (#23332590)

Everybody thinks it's just ducky until they get the bill.

"Thou hast been Punk'd"? (5, Funny)

SpeedyDX (1014595) | more than 6 years ago | (#23332592)

Calling the Platypus a "messed up" animal is one thing, but comparing it to an Ashton Kutcher show is just uncalled for.

Re:"Thou hast been Punk'd"? (2, Funny)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 6 years ago | (#23332692)

but comparing it to an Ashton Kutcher show is just uncalled for.

I dunno. I think it's make a great show:

"Coming up on Thou Has Been Punk'd, we fool village know-it-all Moses into thinking God is speaking to him! Watch out, burning bush is in the hizzy!"

Re:"Thou hast been Punk'd"? (1)

Thornae (53316) | more than 6 years ago | (#23332712)

Given the title, "Thou Hast Been Punk'd" had been running for a century or two by 1798.

Seriously, does anyone think that Captain James Cook said "hast" instead of "have"?

Re:"Thou hast been Punk'd"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23335098)

Calling the Platypus a "messed up" animal is one thing, but comparing it to an Ashton Kutcher show is just uncalled for.
Indeed, but it's still better than comparing it to Hans Reiser.

Platypusses (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23332612)

Jimmy Carter, Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton are on a boat cruise when suddenly it hits a log and the boat starts to sink. Jimmy Carter says "Women and children first." Nixon says "Fuck 'em" Bill Clinton asks "Do you think we have enough time?"

Re:Platypusses (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23332668)

Oops, I meant to work a platypus into the story, but I forgot.. :-/

Re:Platypusses (2, Interesting)

heptapod (243146) | more than 6 years ago | (#23333386)

Actually platypodes and platypuses are acceptable plurals for onithorhynchus anatinus.

Re:Platypusses (2, Funny)

dierdorf (37660) | more than 6 years ago | (#23333784)

Actually platypodes and platypuses are acceptable plurals for onithorhynchus anatinus.

Just don't call a Greek policeman a platypus, even if it is etymologically correct. They get irritated easily.

Re:Platypusses (1, Troll)

Project2501a (801271) | more than 6 years ago | (#23335048)

Us Greeks just call them pigs, idiots, stupid motherfuckers or flower-pots [indymedia.org] because they bang peoples heads against flower pots and beds

*still hurting from last week's protest*

Who did they send the bill to? (2, Funny)

infonography (566403) | more than 6 years ago | (#23332620)

National Geographic most likely.

THCTHCTHC (5, Funny)

coren2000 (788204) | more than 6 years ago | (#23332662)

Strangely, the DNA strands seem to spell out THCTHCTHCTHCTHC repeated a hundred million times.

Re:THCTHCTHC (3, Informative)

bh_doc (930270) | more than 6 years ago | (#23333348)

H isn't a nucleobase. Your choices are C, G, A, T (in DNA), and U (in RNA).

Yeah, yeah, "Whooosh!" I know.

Re:THCTHCTHC (4, Informative)

shawb (16347) | more than 6 years ago | (#23334052)

Hypoxanthine [wikipedia.org] . That may seem like a bit of a stretch, but this is the platypus we're talking about.

H isn't a nucleobase (4, Funny)

patio11 (857072) | more than 6 years ago | (#23335536)

And mammals don't lay eggs or come with poison spines, but when has that ever stopped the platypus before?

I could never decide as a kid whether the platypus disproved intelligent design (I mean, come on, look at it) or whether it was just God's grand joke. "Suck on this, natural selection. I wonder how I can make something LESS plausible. Oh, needs more poison spines... and a beaver tail. Oh, and just to top it off, I'm going to stealth mod them with electrolocation so after the humans can actually detect that they'll just go 'Oh WTF no you didn't'. Its good being omnipotent."

Re:H isn't a nucleobase (1)

grahamd0 (1129971) | more than 6 years ago | (#23336528)

I could never decide as a kid whether the platypus disproved intelligent design (I mean, come on, look at it) or whether it was just God's grand joke.

Well, really, it's the misshapen chimera all of the anti-evolution people demand to see, but it's too cute and mild-mannered to want to upset anyone's world view.

lactation (5, Funny)

caramello (1227828) | more than 6 years ago | (#23332688)

why can't i buy platypus cheese?

Re:lactation (1)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 6 years ago | (#23332714)

For the same reason you can't buy human cheese (I think that french website is a hoax). It's just weird.

Re:lactation (4, Funny)

WK2 (1072560) | more than 6 years ago | (#23332902)

So why can't I buy human cheese? And don't say it's for the same reason I can't buy platypus cheese.

Re:lactation (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23332990)

For the same reason you can't buy dolphin cheese.

(Don't worry its circular, you just haven't gone far enough)

Re:lactation (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23333042)

i wonder if dolphin cheese would be good on a tuna melt. since they're both fishy.

Re:lactation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23333356)

Dolphins are not fishes.
A Dolphin is a marine mammal.

Re:lactation (1)

headhot (137860) | more than 6 years ago | (#23333692)

Dolphin Fish are Fish though

Re:lactation (1)

figleaf (672550) | more than 6 years ago | (#23334484)

I don't believe a Dolphin fish suckles its fingerlings.

Re:lactation (1)

illumastorm (172101) | more than 6 years ago | (#23335124)

Finger Lickin' Good?

Re:lactation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23333834)

My can of tuna tastes otherwise.

Re:lactation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23334022)

Dolphins are not fishes. A Dolphin is a marine mammal.
note: i said "fishy"

Re:lactation (3, Interesting)

fodi (452415) | more than 6 years ago | (#23335342)

Umm.. You can:
http://www.whytraveltofrance.com/2007/06/09/human-breast-milk-cheese-made-in-france/

Although it can be tricky to make yourself:
http://www.indrani.net/index.php?q=2006/03/breast_milk_cheese

Re:lactation (1)

jonadab (583620) | more than 6 years ago | (#23333276)

> why can't i buy platypus cheese?

It wouldn't be safe to eat. Platypus milk is from Australia, so of course it's poisonous.

Re:lactation (5, Funny)

YttriumOxide (837412) | more than 6 years ago | (#23334344)

Australia: The Confusing Country

Australia is a very confusing place, taking up a large amount of the bottom half of the planet. It is recognizable from orbit because of many unusual features, including what at first looks like an enormous bite taken out of it's southern edge; a wall of sheer cliffs which plunge deep into the girting sea. Geologists assure us that this is simply an accident of geomorphology and plate tectonics, but they still call it the "Great Australian Bight" proving that not only are they covering up a more frightening theory, but they can't spell either.

The first of the confusing things about Australia is the status of the place. Where other land masses and sovereign lands are classified as either continent, island, or country, Australia is considered all three. Typically, it is unique in this.

The second confusing thing about Australia are the animals. They can be divided into three categories. Poisonous, Odd, and Sheep. It is true that of the 10 most poisonous arachnids on the planet, Australia has 9 of them. Actually, it would be more accurate to say that of the 9 most poisonous arachnids, Australia has all of them. Though, there are curiously few snakes, possibly because the spiders have killed them all. Even the spiders won't go near the sea. Any visitors should be careful to check inside boots (before putting them on) under toilet seats (before sitting down) and generally everywhere else. A stick is very useful for this task.

Strangely, it tends to be the second class of animals (the Odd) that are more dangerous. The creature that kills the most people each year is the common Wombat. It is nearly as ridiculous as it's name, and spends it's life digging holes in the ground, in which it hides. During the night it comes out to eat worms and grubs. The wombat kills people in two ways: First, the animal is indestructible. Digging holes in the hard Australian clay builds muscles that outclass Olympic weightlifters. At night, they often wander the roads. Semi-trailers (Road Trains) have hit them at high speed, with all 9 wheels on one side, and this merely makes them very annoyed. They express this by snorting, glaring, and walking away. Alas, to smaller cars, the wombat becomes an asymmetrical high-speed launching pad, with results that can be imagined.

The second way the wombat kills people relates to it's burrowing behavior. If a person happens to put their hand down a Wombat hole, the Wombat will feel the disturbance and think "Ho! My hole is collapsing!" at which it will brace its muscled legs and push up against the roof of it's burrow, with incredible force, to prevent it's collapse. Any unfortunate hand will be crushed, and attempts to withdraw will cause the Wombat to simply bear down harder. The unfortunate will then bleed to death through their crushed hand as the wombat prevents him from seeking assistance. This is considered the third most embarrassing known way to die, and Australians don't talk about it much.

At this point, we would like to mention the Platypus, estranged relative of the mammal, which has a duck-bill, otter's tail, webbed feet, lays eggs, detects it's aquatic prey in the same way as the electric eel, and has venemous barbs attached to its hind legs, thus combining all 'typical' Australian attributes into a single improbable creature.

The last confusing thing about Australia is the inhabitants. First, a short history: Some time around 40,000 years ago, some people arrived in boats from the north. They ate all the available food, and lot of them died. The ones that survived learned respect for the balance of nature, man's proper place in the scheme of things, and spiders. They settled in, and spent a lot of the intervening time making up strange stories.

Then, around 200 years ago, Europeans arrived in boats from the north. More accurately, European convicts were sent, with a few deranged and stupid people in charge. They tried to plant their crops in Autumn (failing to take account of the reversal of the seasons when moving from the top half of the planet to the bottom) ate all their food, and a lot of them died. About then the sheep arrived, and have been treasured ever since.

It is interesting to note here that the Europeans always consider themselves vastly superior to any other race they encounter since they can lie, cheat, steal, and litigate (marks of a civilized culture, they say) whereas all the aboriginals can do is happily survive being left in the middle of a vast red-hot desert, equipped with a stick.

Eventually, the new lot of people stopped being Europeans on Extended Holliday and became Australians. The changes are subtle, but deep, caused by the mind-stretching expanses of nothingness and eerie quiet, where a person can sit perfectly still and look deep inside themselves to the core of their essence, their reasons for being, and the necessity of checking inside your boots every morning for fatal surprises. They also picked up the most finely tuned sense of irony in the world, and the Aboriginal gift for making up stories. Be warned.

There is also the matter of the beaches.

Australian beaches are simply the nicest and best in the entire world. Although anyone actually venturing into the sea will have to contend with sharks, stinging jellyfish, stonefish (a fish which sits on the bottom of the sea, pretends to be a rock, and has venomous barbs sticking out of it's back that will kill just from the pain) and surfboarders. However, watching a beach sunset is worth the risk.

As a result of all this hardship, dirt, thirst, and wombats, you would expect Australians to be a dour lot. Instead, they are genial, jolly, cheerful, and always willing to share a kind word with a stranger unless they are an American. Faced with insurmountable odds and impossible problems, they smile disarmingly and look for a stick. Major engineering feats have been performed with sheets of corrugated iron, string, and mud.

Alone of all the races on earth, they seem to be free from the 'Grass is Greener on the other side of the fence' syndrome, and roundly proclaim that Australia is, in fact, the other side of that fence. They call the land "Oz", "Godzone" (a verbal contraction of "God's own country") and "Best bloody place on earth, bar none, strewth." The irritating thing about this is they may be right.

There are some traps for the unsuspecting traveller, though. Do not under any circumstances suggest that the beer is imperfect, unless you are comparing it to another kind of Australian beer. Do not wear a Hawaiian shirt. Religion and Politics are safe topics of conversation (Australians don't care too much about either) but Sport is a minefield. The only correct answer to "So, howdya' like our country, eh?" is "Best {insert your own regional swear word here} country in the world!".

It is very likely that, on arriving, some cheerful Australians will 'adopt' you, and on your first night, and take you to a pub where Australian Beer is served. Despite the obvious danger, do not refuse. It is a form of initiation rite. You will wake up late the next day with an astonishing hangover, a foul-taste in your mouth, and wearing strange clothes. (Your hosts will usually make sure you get home, and waive off any legal difficulties with "It's his first time in Australia, so we took him to the pub." to which the policeman will sagely nod and close his notebook.) Be sure to tell the story of these events to every other Australian you encounter, adding new embellishments at every stage, and noting how strong the beer was. Thus you will be accepted into this unique culture.

Most Australians are now urban dwellers, having discovered the primary use of electricity, which is air conditioning and refrigerators.


Typical Australian sayings

- "G'Day"

- "It's better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick"

- "She'll be right"

- "And down from Kosiosco, where the pine clad ridges raise their torn and rugged battlements on high, where the air is clear is crystal, and the white stars fairly blaze at midnight in the cold and frosty sky. And where, around the overflow, the reed beds sweep and sway to the breezes, and the rolling plains are wide. The Man from Snowy River is a household word today, and the stockmen tell the story of his ride."

Tips to Surviving Australia

- Don't ever put your hand down a hole for any reason whatsoever.

- The beer is worse than you think, regardless of how bad you think it is.

- Always carry a stick.

- Air conditioning.

- Do not attempt to use Australian slang, unless you are a trained linguist and good in a fistfight.

- Thick socks.

- Take good maps. Stopping to ask directions only works when there are people nearby.

- If you leave the urban areas, carry several litres of water with you at all times, or you will die.

- Even in the most embellished stories told by Australians, there is always a core of truth that it is unwise to ignore.

See Also: "Deserts: How to die in them", "The Stick: Second most useful thing ever" and "Poisonous and Venomous arachnids, insects, animals, trees, shrubs, fish and sheep of Australia, volumes 1-42"

Re:lactation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23334686)

Just to mention that we do have plenty of snakes, 3 of the top 10 in the world in most lists... And you forgot the blue-ring octopi and enormous man-eating crocodiles.

Re:lactation (1)

whatever3003 (536979) | more than 6 years ago | (#23335626)

And the drop-bears.

Monotremes oviparous, ovum meroblastic (1)

Peter Simpson (112887) | more than 6 years ago | (#23335238)

If that's not from _A Sunburned Country_, it sounds just like it. Great book!

Lived in Melbourne as a kid. Great people, beautiful country.

Re:lactation (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23335366)

Godzone is New Zealand, you insensitive clod!

Re:lactation (1)

YttriumOxide (837412) | more than 6 years ago | (#23335914)

Godzone is New Zealand, you insensitive clod!

Hah, as a native born Kiwi, I'm WELL aware of that... the Aussies still call Australia "Godzone" as well though.

And also in my defence, I'm not the original author of that rather humorous piece - I just posted it for the funny mods (and managed to pick up an "Informative" and "Insightful" somehow as well it seems, but that wasn't my intention!).

Re:lactation (1)

forkazoo (138186) | more than 6 years ago | (#23333762)

why can't i buy platypus cheese?

Because you don't shop at finer cheese shops. (Mmmm... Venezuelan Beaver Cheese!)

Re:lactation (1)

caramello (1227828) | more than 6 years ago | (#23333978)

wow, beaver cheese actually sounds pretty dam good

Re:lactation (5, Funny)

Shinmizu (725298) | more than 6 years ago | (#23334534)

Sounds like a hygiene problem to me.

Poisonous (5, Interesting)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 6 years ago | (#23332760)

I had just recently learned that they also had poisonous barbs on their back feet. What is surprising that it is one of the most painful venoms on the planet. A gentleman that had been stuck by a platypus had also been struck by shrapnel in World War II.

He said if he had to choose between the two, it would be the grenade.

So the cute little bastards are also very dangerous. I still want to pick one up and hug them though.

Re:Poisonous (4, Informative)

aerthling (796790) | more than 6 years ago | (#23332802)

You can pick a female up and hug it - only adult males have the spur, iirc.

Re:Poisonous (2, Funny)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 6 years ago | (#23332878)

You can pick a female up and hug it...
Remember who you're talking to.

Re:Poisonous (3, Funny)

nizo (81281) | more than 6 years ago | (#23332980)

Except then the male platypi will swarm and kill him.

Re:Poisonous (2, Informative)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 6 years ago | (#23333406)

Here's a poison-free version [kaboodle.com] if you can't resist the hugging urges :)

Re:Poisonous (5, Funny)

Feanturi (99866) | more than 6 years ago | (#23334384)

And what I heard about the primary use of that venom is that it is for immobilizing a swimming female, who will proceed to go limp and float helplessly, so that he can get his freak on. The platypus is Nature's date-rapist.

Re:Poisonous (3, Funny)

NoobixCube (1133473) | more than 6 years ago | (#23332804)

I wonder; if Steve Irwin had a choice, would he have picked the platypus barb, or the sting ray barb? Sure, he'd be alive today if he got stung by the platypus, but it would have really hurt like hell. I'm going to be modded down by all the Crocodile Hunter fans now...

Re:Poisonous (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 6 years ago | (#23333428)

He said if he had to choose between the two, it would be the grenade.


Hmmm... I wonder what would happen if....

"Awww what a cute little platy- AAAAAAAAAAARGH GET HIM OFF ME GET HIM OFF ME SON OF A -*starts swearing in pain*"

Re:Poisonous (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 6 years ago | (#23333550)

I had just recently learned that they also had poisonous barbs on their back feet. What is surprising that it is one of the most painful venoms on the planet.

I heard that a few months ago. It completely boggled my mind -- a venomous back toe on top of everything actually left me so utterly stunned it wasn't funny.

We're talking a damned strange critter! I mean, "cobbled-together array of avian, reptilian and mammalian lineages" -- you couldn't make this thing up and get half of what it actually is.

Cheers

Re:Poisonous (1)

YttriumOxide (837412) | more than 6 years ago | (#23334416)

I had just recently learned that they also had poisonous barbs on their back feet.

Are you also aware of their electrolocation feature? That's pretty cool and weird at the same time also.

Re:Poisonous (0)

Scaba (183684) | more than 6 years ago | (#23334516)

Are you also aware of their electrolocation feature? That's pretty cool and weird at the same time also.

That's colloquially known as "GPS."

Re:Poisonous (2, Insightful)

jimmux (1096839) | more than 6 years ago | (#23335122)

Not only is it painful, it has the curious effect that morphine is completely ineffective against it. I wonder if that had anything to do with this gentleman's preference for the grenade.

QED (4, Interesting)

FlyByPC (841016) | more than 6 years ago | (#23332820)

Intelligent Design, meet Platypus.
...
Platypus, meet Intelligent Design.

Maybe there is a God, maybe not -- but would any sane being *design* something like this??

I would! (3, Funny)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 6 years ago | (#23332882)

I would totally design something like... oh... wait...

Re:I would! (1)

Architect_sasyr (938685) | more than 6 years ago | (#23333912)

The flying spaghetti monster?

Always thought the concept of intelligent design was a bit of a joke. I'm not saying that there is or isn't some sort of greater being out there but seriously... a platypus, giant flaming balls of gas for light and heat, George W. Bush (had to get the political joke in)... we couldn't call whatever created this earth intelligent if we tried.

Re:I would! (1)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 6 years ago | (#23334308)

Meh. That's how I'd do it. Set up a system with parameters for whatever I was looking for and let evolution do my job for me. I think I'd start with more than just bunch of hydrogen hoping it'd form the right conditions but if you believe in that sort of thing you really don't know what the original designer was looking for. Could be he was just looking for a reasonably efficient (if slow) method of turning hydrogen into plutonium and everything else is just a side effect.

For all we know, all those squishy carbon-based life forms are just an unnecessary side effect. We might not be interesting at all, from an ID point of view. Why make the system so big if it's just a specific set of carbon based life forms you're interested in? More likely everything that goes on on Earth is just a side effect and probably not even a very interesting one.

Re:QED (2)

genican1 (1150855) | more than 6 years ago | (#23333092)

Maybe there is a God, maybe not -- but would any sane being *design* something like this??
Remember: even God has a sense of humor. Just look at the Platypus. Thank you and enjoy the show. P.S. We sincerely apologize to all Platypus enthusiasts out there who are offended by that thoughtless comment about Platypi. We at View Askew respect the noble Platypus, and it is not our intention to slight these stupid creatures in any way.

The Easter "Bunny" was a Platypus (4, Funny)

frovingslosh (582462) | more than 6 years ago | (#23333300)

I believe that Jesus's side kick was a platypus. Two thousand years ago, the Europeans were unfamiliar with the platypus. So a symbol of Easter became an Easter Bunny. But one that brought eggs. And occasionally the bunny was replaced by a duckling, a creature with a duckbill and webbed feet. Had the early Europeans known about this strange Australian mammal, they would have recognized Jesus's sidekick for what he was, and the incorrectly interpreted story of the Easter Bunny would not have spread through the world.

This is, of course, all just theory.

Re:The Easter "Bunny" was a Platypus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23333476)

So Jesus lived in Europe ? Rather near from Buenos Aires or from Vladivostok ?

Re:The Easter "Bunny" was a Platypus (1)

famebait (450028) | more than 6 years ago | (#23334664)

[mixed up stuff about easter bunnies and platypuses]
Dude, Australia is an easter egg.

Re:The Easter "Bunny" was a Platypus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23334802)

Every puppy deserves a child....and every platypus deserves a jewish zombie saviour.

Re:QED (3, Funny)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 6 years ago | (#23333354)

Maybe there's an insane God?

That's probably the single item that religious people seem least able to argue about. Even if they can convince me there is a God, now they have to convince me that it's a good God.

Re:QED (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23333954)

Shit, with all the things wrong with this world, the existence of a duckbilled, egg-laying, poison-tipped mammal is what makes you question God's motives?

Re:QED (1, Interesting)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 6 years ago | (#23334018)

Actually, no, The Bible is what makes me question God's motives, if that one exists.

And that's enough to get rid of the Jehovah's Witnesses (yes, they're still around) fast enough that I don't often think too much more deeply about it.

"Did you know that your god condones rape, genocide, prostitution, and killing your whole family for not believing? Yeah, it's all right there in the Bible. Your book, not mine."

Conversation fucking over. I win.

Re:QED (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23334286)

Meet Allah ... he's clearly a fucking insane god.

Re:QED (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 6 years ago | (#23334356)

No moreso than the Christian god or the Jewish god.

Re:QED (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 6 years ago | (#23333438)

-- but would any sane being *design* something like this??


Spore, heavenly version? [vgcats.com]

Re:QED (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 6 years ago | (#23333640)

Maybe there is a God, maybe not -- but would any sane being *design* something like this??

I think Robin Williams said that the Platypus was proof that even God likes to get high.

Re:QED (1)

karmer (1269290) | more than 6 years ago | (#23333896)

Would any sane being design humans??

Re:QED (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23334252)

Sorry, I get tired of comments like this. It's only a weird animal from a northern hemisphere perspective. If you watch a platypus in the wilderness like I did last saturday, the animal makes perfect sense - about as weird as an otter. It's an efficient design for getting around in fresh water, and to its prey species it's a fearsome predator. It's also very cute :)

Re:QED (1)

carpe.cervisiam (900585) | more than 6 years ago | (#23334274)

Deterrent. The Platypus is Mother Nature's way of keeping us in line. She's saying "look at what I made from all the left over bits...and it will still f*ck you up."

Re:QED (1)

melikamp (631205) | more than 6 years ago | (#23334582)

God designed platypus right after he put the finishing touches on cannabis.

Re:QED (1)

famebait (450028) | more than 6 years ago | (#23334652)

Yeah, the aborigines were right with their cute little little euphemism: Australia really was created in "the dreamtime".

God gave us the mind and all the clues.
The bible is just there to test our faith. In ourselves.
Australia is probably there just to mess with our heads.

Re:QED (1)

sveard (1076275) | more than 6 years ago | (#23334922)

They will say it was designed from the leftovers

Re:QED (1)

LS (57954) | more than 6 years ago | (#23334930)

Just as those who believe in intelligent design can't get over their misconceptions about the nature of reality and supposed evidence for divine involvement in its design, you are making the same mistake in assuming what a so-called designer's criteria would be. Who is to say that a creator couldn't have a sense of humor or that the platypus is somehow poorly designed?

disclaimer: I do not believe in a creator or intelligent design (and it's ok to be gay, and I have black friends, etc.)

LS

Re:QED (1)

ultracool (883965) | more than 6 years ago | (#23335436)

Clearly it's a practical joke played on us by some aliens.

Re:QED (1)

wjsteele (255130) | more than 6 years ago | (#23335492)

Dude, gods can get high, too!

So where's the source code ... (2, Funny)

The Sith Lord (111494) | more than 6 years ago | (#23332862)

... and how do I compile it ?

Don't bother... (2, Funny)

JavaBasedOS (1217930) | more than 6 years ago | (#23332922)

I tried to compile it, and all I got was a segmentation fault.

Re:Don't bother... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23333048)

You mean it bit your ear off?

Re:Don't bother... (1)

r_jensen11 (598210) | more than 6 years ago | (#23333194)

That's because you tried to compile it with a jdk. For anything whose source code is this old, you'll be have better luck with FORTRAN

Re:So where's the source code ... (1)

gzipped_tar (1151931) | more than 6 years ago | (#23334460)

"make all" doesn't work with the default Makefile coming with the release. In order to compile, issue the command "make love", then link the resulting "egg.o" with libreptile.so, libbird.so, and libmammal.so.

Re:So where's the source code ... (1)

Megane (129182) | more than 6 years ago | (#23336220)

I think the multiple inheritance involved here works best with Objective-C and its "protocols". So you'll have to use GCC. Visual Studio is right out.

Living fossils (4, Interesting)

Guppy (12314) | more than 6 years ago | (#23332912)

Interesting indeed... I vaguely recall some debate when sequencing the platypus was proposed, over whether or not it was a worthy use of funding and sequencer time, being that it was not considered a representative of any medically or commercially important organism, or one of the various "model" laboratory organisms.

Anyway, saw a comment posted as a reply to a Nature article on it which also suggested we take a look at "other 'outlier' organisms, including the echidna, birds like the kiwi or tinamous, tuataras, nautilus, and similar organisms." Sounds like a good idea -- here's hoping we see sequence data from other living fossil [wikipedia.org] organisms.

Re:Living fossils (1)

jericho4.0 (565125) | more than 6 years ago | (#23334144)

Fortunately, the cost keeps dropping fast. A complete sequence is under $100,000. Last year it was a million. So that debate is largely over now.

See? (3, Funny)

oracle128 (899787) | more than 6 years ago | (#23332932)

We told you it was real. Now we just have to decode the Bunyip genome.

Re:See? (3, Funny)

Macgrrl (762836) | more than 6 years ago | (#23333684)

Should Bunyips be sequenced before or after Drop Bears?

Re:See? (1)

burgundysizzle (1192593) | more than 6 years ago | (#23334128)

I don't think it matters both are equally interesting and kill approximately the same number of people in Australia per year.

Re:See? (1)

Malekin (1079147) | more than 6 years ago | (#23334172)

There's no way I'm getting close enough to a drop bear to gets its DNA. I hear those things are vicious.

Re:See? (1)

jimmux (1096839) | more than 6 years ago | (#23334762)

Should Bunyips be sequenced before or after Drop Bears?

Neither. Yowies should be sequenced first.

They are far more elusive. There is still much debate about whether they even exist, whereas everyone has seen bunyips and dropbears.

Re:See? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23334814)

Bunyips first then Hoop Snakes

Re:See? (1)

Megane (129182) | more than 6 years ago | (#23336244)

Hey, where's the love for the humble Jackalope? Let's hear it for something above the equator!

Re:See? (1)

Wordplay (54438) | more than 6 years ago | (#23334378)

That's so 1990s cryptozoology. The new hotness is Bunyipv6.

Now we will find out (4, Funny)

Wylfing (144940) | more than 6 years ago | (#23332940)

Now that their DNA has been decoded, we will find out why platypuses are such powerful sorcerers.

Venomous (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 6 years ago | (#23335256)

In all honesty, that one isn't surprising. In Australia, if it doesn't have big serrated teeth, it can probably paralyze you with a single bite.
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