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back to article Horrific FLESH-EATING PLATYPUS once terrorised Australia

Boffins have found evidence that a giant, sharp-toothed, flesh-eating platypus once roamed the waterways of Australia. New platypus species Obdurodon tharalkooschild, with a close-up of its tooth The Obdurodon tharalkooschild, with a close-up of its tooth. Credit: Peter Schouten/Rebecca Pian The regular modern platypus is …

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Pint

"...the male of the species has a venomous spur on its hind foot."

Left or right?

[edit: OMG? Was the Platypus designed by Morgan and therefore has only one rear foot? OMG, the connection of Morgan with the Platypus explains a great deal....]

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Re: "...the male of the species has a venomous spur on its hind foot."

Another Aussie Politician for sure!

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Go

Now it's here!

Selling banking- run!

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Someone get SciFi Channel on the phone!

I think I've found a replacement for when shark movies jump the - erm - shark.

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Happy

Re: Someone get SciFi Channel on the phone!

And now, on SyFy it's time for 'The Platypocalypse'! Starring some alleged actors, wearing inadequate amounts of clothing...

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Re: Someone get SciFi Channel on the phone!

Eh, I don't think so. "Platynado" just doesn't roll off the tongue very well....

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Re: Someone get SciFi Channel on the phone!

Eh, I don't think so. "Platynado" just doesn't roll off the tongue very well....

Nah. They've done tornados to death. It's time for a Platycane.

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Go

Re: Someone get SciFi Channel on the phone!

Platycane actually works pretty well. "Platyphoon" might be even better, and its geographically correct!

Now all we need are some past-their-prime Aussie pop stars who want to "act". What are the guys from Men at Work doing these days?

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Terminator

Re: Someone get SciFi Channel on the phone!

Put some robot parts in it: Platynator!

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Re: Someone get SciFi Channel on the phone!

"Platyphoon" might be even better, and its geographically correct!

It is a nice word but in Australia we just use the standard meteorological description; "tropical cyclone".

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Re: Someone get SciFi Channel on the phone!

It is a nice word but in Australia we just use the standard meteorological description; "tropical cyclone".

Accurate terminology? I think you're asking for way too much. This is a SyFy Original Movie we're talking about. No matter where in the world they set it the'll call it a hurricane because that's what it's called in America (or, possibly, because the budget is too small to bother paying anyone to tell them what the things are called down under).

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Re: Someone get SciFi Channel on the phone!

@ Sisk

Probably true. And considering that this is a SyFy Channel movie, the whole thing is going to be shot in Mexico anyway....

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Re: Someone get SciFi Channel on the phone!

"Put some robot parts in it: Platynator!"

Nah, Disney has already done the Platyborg.

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Facepalm

Re: Someone get SciFi Channel on the phone!

Still working to pay off the fine?

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/03/31/down_under_appeal/

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Alien

I would bow...

to our weird Monotreme looking overlords, but there are other things need doing - like the washing up.

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Size estimate based on single tooth

How valid is it to extrapolate the length of an unknown animal based on a single tooth? Could they not have discovered, for example, a standard sized platypus with enormous teeth? Or something entirely different with at least one tooth uncommonly like that of a platypus?

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Facepalm

Re: Size estimate based on single tooth

We';re not talking about the late "Rabbit of Caerbannog" , from Monty python, killed by the "Holy hand-grenade of Antioch". Renowned for it's sharp , pointy teeth....Apparently.

More than one species has been identified by a single tooth..

(http://news.discovery.com/animals/zoo-animals/first-human-ancestor-squirrel-121018.htm)

Here's one with a nice picture

(http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2221303/The-primitive-primate-revealed-And-ancestor-resembled-tiny-squirrel.html)

Hang on... did I just quote the Daily Mail in a bibliography? (See icon)

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Pint

Re: Size estimate based on single tooth

An astronomer, a physicist and a mathematician are on a train in Scotland. The astronomer looks out of the window, sees a black sheep standing in a field, and remarks, "How odd. All the sheep in Scotland are black!" "No, no, no!" says the physicist. "Only some Scottish sheep are black." The mathematician rolls his eyes at his companions' muddled thinking and says, "In Scotland, there is at least one sheep, at least one side of which appears to be black from here some of the time."

(via Wiki)

These Paleo*.*ologists are at the very opposite end of the 'Skeptical Thinking' spectrum from Mathematicians. They concoct the most elaborate possible explanation from the most trivial of evidence. That's why they're as reliable as weather forecasters.

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Re: Size estimate based on single tooth

There is "SCIENCE" then there is "magical science (imaginations)". I'll leave the decision on which is which in this case and in what application to the reader.

PS JeffyPoooh beat me too it, and gave the 3 best sciences in the correct order, and shows that even Astrophysics is far from an "ideal" available in other fields... oh, wait... was that a pun?! :D

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Coat

Re: Size estimate based on single tooth

"More than one species has been identified by a single tooth"

Now that's one remarkable tooth...

Mine's the one with "Paleontology For Dummies" in the pocket.

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Happy

Re: Size estimate based on single tooth

Perhaps this this whole line of commentary can best be summed up with a quote...

As Jack Nicholson once said --"You can't handle the tooth!!!"

(Hey, you guys walked into that one.)

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Re: Size estimate based on single tooth

Honestly? Depends on the circumstances.

If, say, extinct platypuses had exceptionally unique teeth and there is a fossil history to compare sizes then it's valid enough to start developing informed and useful approximations. As it happens, the platypus family did have unique teeth, quite different from anything else that is current known.

Reading the articles on palaeontology, I’m left to wonder if some of you were bullied by a palaeontologist in earlier life as there seems to be nothing but disrespect for them here.

The very nature of fossilisation means that these scientists are working with sometimes very scant information. I appreciate that that means they just can’t be as precise as everyone might like but it doesn’t mean that what they are doing is somehow science of a lesser value or calibre.

What is happening here is that a dedicated, hard-working scientist has (likely alongside an equally-dedicated and hard working team) analysed the available fossil evidence and, marrying that with all that is currently known about that family of animals, produced a plausible hypothesis that – in proper scientific fashion – is supported by all the available evidence, has valuable predictive power and is falsifiable.

That hypothesis is that there was at least one significant evolutionary branch that maintained both teeth and a larger size, while the ‘main’ both lost its teeth and shrank.

There have been numerous careless, unwarranted, over-ambitious and outright fraudulent claims through the history of palaeontology, but that is hardly unique to that field and should not mean that all palaeontologists should be distrusted by default.

@JulianB – I’m not specifically referring to you with my diatribe above as your comment, at face value, simply asked how valid it was. Again, the answer is that it depends but in this case, it’s would seem fairly valid.

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Re: Size estimate based on single tooth

Thanks. Exactly the sort of answer I hoped for.

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"Paleoboffins"

nice

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Pint

IT angle ..

I was truly lookign for the IT angle in the article when i realised that the creature described sounded a lot like Steve Ballmer . Sharp teeth , poison dart, bad tempered .. flesh eater .. only difference i can spot is about throwing chairs and tables ..

I , for one , want to personally welcome our new platypus overlords .. time for a pint .. :)

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Re: IT angle ..

One other difference is that the creature described would probably be better at running a company.

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ALL the nice stuff......

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WTF?

I dont need this so early in the morning..

Was it not enough that the duck billed platypus existed, let alone that it can eat me? What cruel archetict of life has imagined such a vial and base thing?

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Re: I dont need this so early in the morning..

Australia... if something isn't trying to kill you horribly, you're not there yet!

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Re: I dont need this so early in the morning..

"What cruel archetict of life has imagined such a vial and base thing?"

According to Terry Pratchett, it was created when a group of wizards, from the Unseen University, tried to draw/create a duck during the creation-time of the 4ecks continent. At that time, the act of drawing something actually created it. (The details are hazy in my mind.)

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Re: I dont need this so early in the morning..

To be fair, having sharp teeth and venom is really the only practical defense when a marauding gang of drop bears are nearby.

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Re: I dont need this so early in the morning..

"What cruel archetict of life has imagined such a vial and base thing?"

All your base thing are belong to us.

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Pint

Re: I dont need this so early in the morning..

@laeming; Exactly, we have lost another thing that can lurk in creeks and eat tourists floating by. Makes the bunyip legend even more poignant. Still want to see reported goannas south of Winneke Creek NT that were over 2 meters still in the 1960s. Probably all eaten by now, but would be great for chasing careless 4WD campers. Still the black dingoes there though.

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Headmaster

Platypi eat crustaceans and shellfish...

So technically, they always were flesh-eaters.

(If you want to drive home the point, maybe you need to dress up the artists conception to show a proto-platypus with a Koala in its mouth!)

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Re: Platypi eat crustaceans and shellfish...

re:... a proto-platypus with a Koala in its mouth!

Or perhaps a drop bear?

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Awww...

I bet that even at three foot and sharp-toothedly shredding fish, it was adorable.

Speaking of awwww, I googled for a reconstruction of this mega-platypus. I didn't find one, but instead I found this:

Modern horse says hi to oldest known horse

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Re: Awww...

Wow. That old horse must have been massive.

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Re: Awww...

Looking at it's proportions and general appearance I would say that is a pony and not a horse Although ponies technically stop at 14:2 hands (58") and horses start there, there are some pony breeds that will top 14:2.

Eohippus was about 14" high, small enough to be eaten by a giant platypus.

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I prefer the 'God as a pothead' explanation of the platypus.

"Dude, I've got this awesome idea. I need a duck and a beaver....and we'll put a snake tooth on its foot just to screw with people."

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Pluck Dilled Battypus

Has always been my favourite real animal, obviously made from the optional bits left over from the Airfix kits God used to make the other animals.

My favourite non-real animal is Opus, in case you were wondering (though in my youth that honour went to the crabs in the seaside pond).

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Gotta love "The Wonderful Land of Oz"!

Giant toothed platypodes, killer koalas ... http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/01/31/drop_bear_killer_koala_science_fun/ ...

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