I think Baby Yoda may have met his cuteness match, at last! There is a new adorable photo that is taking social media by storm – and that would be the picture of what was perceived to be a little baby platypus.
Just in case you needed to see a baby platypus today. I did but didn’t even know it. 😍 pic.twitter.com/RHPEnm3vuj
— FrogDoc (@TueborFrog) February 13, 2020
There have even been several Twitter users who’ve used their creative photoshop skills to dress up the platypus.
— vic (@victor_pesina) February 16, 2020
hes trying his best pic.twitter.com/u99uyGgSXG
— joshua / the end of cm 🙁 🔆 (@hotchnersmind) February 16, 2020
Unfortunately, the internet is a well-documented place of smoke and mirrors, so the supposed baby platypus isn’t really a platypus. Instead, according to IFL Science, it’s a rock! The adorable creature that everyone was so ready to convert into the next big meme is actually a statue created by artist Vladimir Matić-Kuriljov. Although, you really have to applaud his work for making something so real-looking that it was fooling social media.
However, there was a sliver of silver-lining since the revelation then prompted people to share authentic pictures of actual baby platypuses – known as puggles. And these little puggles are actually even cuter than the statue.
— Kurobear (@foreverkurobear) February 16, 2020
this one is not a real platypus though argh 🤨https://t.co/DKN1CFDyLz
here’s some baby and adult platypi for you 😊 pic.twitter.com/B7D7xUr09h
— wombot 👀 (@colourmeamused_) February 16, 2020
While platypuses are naturally adorable, they’re also quite an enigma. For a start, they’re one of only a few venomous mammals – the males have venomous spurs in their back feet. In addition, they’re a mammal that lays eggs and has bills – which can detect electrical fields.
Continuing with the mystery of the platypus is how they manage to nurse their young. Platypuses don’t have nipples, so instead, their milk is produced in mammary gland ducts, where it then collects in the folds of their skin. Baby platypuses will then suck the milk from their fur or from between their mother’s skin folds.
As strange as they are, these animals are actually disappearing at alarming rates. A PhD candidate at the University of New South Wales who is a researcher with the Platypus Conservation Initiative, Tahneal Hawke, has explained to National Geographic, “The platypus has declined right in front of our noses. We have a huge area across the range of the platypus where we literally don’t know if they’re even there or in what numbers if they are.”
Anastasia is an American writer and journalist living in Dublin, Ireland. Her Twitter is @AnastasiaArell5.