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Puzzle of the Platypus

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  • United States
  • English

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When the platypus was first discovered by Europeans in the 1800s, it was well-known by Australian Aborigines-but no one knew how to classify it. It lived in the water and laid eggs like a reptile, had a bill like a bird, and was furry and warm-blooded like a mammal. Scientists had to come up with a way to solve this and many other mysteries of nature. Alaskan Polar bears sleeping in hidden underground dens caused problems for researchers wanting to drill for oil without disturbing the bears. Find out how scientists used infrared imaging to see the caves beneath the snow. One type of parrot from southern Peru munches on dirt from a riverbank each morning. Learn how these birds (and some people) use dirt as part of their diet. And also learn how a special kind of bird in Africa actually leads villagers to one of the town's main food sources, honey. This collection of articles by Jack Myers, long-time chief science editor for Highlights for Children magazine, answers some of the most interesting questions science has explored.
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