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Thursday, June 09, 2005

duck-billed platypus


Tuned into the talented Ellen DeGeneres' show the other day and caught her in genial chat with burly Russell Crowe, promoting latest antipodean phone phlinging techniques.

The conversation turned - somewhat bizarrely, and to both parties' bemusement - to platypus, with Crowe promptly correcting Ellen on her pluralization of 'platypuses'.

'Platypi' pronounced RC firmly.

In fact, I find it is "platypus".

Next query was for a suitable collective noun. Well, I didn't know either, so I rushed to

No sign. Rum!

Guess what - there **is** no collective noun for these "solitary animals that do not form social groups or family units."

What fascinating "living fossils"! Of the species Obdurodon insignis, Obdurodon dicksoni, and Obdurodon sp. A , which endears them further to me, with that kindred hint of 'obduracy' in their species name.

I wish now I'd taken the name of platypus for my stubbornly solitary scribblings.

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