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An Antipodal Mystery
Clyde Freeman Herreid
The discovery of the platypus had the scientific world in an uproar and kept it tantalized for decades. Here was the strangest animal ever seen. How was one to classify it? It had fur. So, was it a mammal? But then what to make of its duck-like bill? And how did it produce and suckle its young? Based on the book by Ann Moyal titled Platypus: The Extraordinary Story of How a Curious Creature Baffled the World, the case focuses on classification and evolution and models the scientific process, with scientists arguing, debating, collecting more information, and revising their opinions as more data become available.
|Keywords:||Taxonomy; ornithorynchus; platypus; monotreme; marsupial; scala naturae; evolution; Australia|
|Topical Area:||History of science, Scientific method|
|Educational Level:||High school, Undergraduate lower division|
|Subject Headings:||Evolutionary Biology Biology (General) Zoology|
|Copyright:||Copyright held by the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, University at Buffalo, State University of New York. Please see our usage guidelines, which outline our policy concerning permissible reproduction of this work.|
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