Science Friday (1/3): The platypus is the only living member of its family (Ornithorhynchidae) that does not have a stomach.
Huh. I had no idea.
True, but a little tricky I think, since I think it is the only living member of it's family, with or without a stomach (which it does not have).
This was my way of presenting both of these facts without adding extra questions. You caught me!
This would be equally true if the sentence were cut off after the word "family." The platypus is the only remaining living member of the family Ornithorhynchidae. The other genus (obdurodon) belonging to this family, was comprised of four
different species, the most recent of which lived 5-15 million years ago.
The modern platypus does lack a stomach. Its gullet connects directly to its intestines, with no acid-producing region of the gut in between.
The prominent hypothesis regarding why the platypus lacks a stomach is that the platypus is able to macerate its food so thoroughly that it no longer needs an acid-producing stomach, and that, in its evolutionary track, it has lost the genes that
code for a stomach.
(I couldn't find a good diagram of the digestive tract, so I thought I'd just give you this picture. You'll see why.)
A little nicer than seeing intestines, I hope.
wow. that is fascinating. and I want those 2.....so cute