echidnapus

Long-beaked echidna (Zaglossus bruijni) crossing water, Papua New Guinea , endemic, New Guinea highland forests

Long-beaked echidna (Zaglossus bruijni) crossing water, Papua New Guinea , endemic, New Guinea highland forests

Thanks to the fine folks at Wired for running their own feature, “absurd creature of the week”. They recently featured the echidna which:

lay eggs like reptiles and detect electrical fields like sharks. They’ve got the mug of an anteater and the spines of a porcupine. And of course the males have four-headed penises like … well, maybe something out of hentai?

But even more fascinating is their link to synapsids.

Synapsid tree

You can see where we diverged from the reptiles a Very Long Time Ago, but the super cool part is that the creature below is more closely related to us than to a lizard. Somewhat mind blowing.

Dimetrodon skeleton

Happy Platypus Freedom Day!