The World's Strangest Animal

 •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 7
"Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world." Acts 15:18
The 18-inch duck-billed platypus, which is found in Australia and Tasmania, looks like a mix of several animals and birds. Although it has a bill like a duck, fur like a beaver, short legs like a lizard, claws like a muskrat, cheek pouches like a monkey and lays eggs like a turtle, it is a true mammal. No wonder people who think it evolved can't figure out what it evolved from.
However, the Bible record assures us this is another of God's creatures, adapted by Him to its way of life. Its duck-like bill makes it possible to get food from the muddy bottom of a stream or pond. Its beaver-like fur is waterproof and keeps it warm in and out of water. The short legs help it to easily move along its long tunnel to its nest. It is able to store food in its cheek pouches while continuing its hunting. Its webbed feet make it an excellent swimmer. In addition to all these features, the male's hind legs are equipped with poisonous spurs for protection from enemies. When the webs of its front feet are pulled back, claws are exposed.
It is hard to get a look at this little fellow because it stays in its tunnel during the day and hunts mostly at night. Even though no ears can be seen (just ear slits), its hearing is unusually good, as are its sense of smell and touch.
Before the female lays her eggs, she increases the length of the tunnel to about 20 feet with a hidden opening on land. She brings in leaves and grass to make an underground nest where she lays from one to three eggs. She curls her body around the eggs for a week to ten days, until the one-inch-long, hairless babies hatch. Using her tail to hold them close to her body, she nurses the babies. She keeps them hidden in the nest until they are several months old and nearly full-grown.
We may wonder why God made such a distinctly strange animal. We can be sure He had a definite purpose and that He gives the platypus the same care that is given to all His creation.
Have you stopped to think that God made man with a special purpose in mind? He said of those called by His name, "I have created him for My glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him" (Isa. 43:7). This assurance is given to all who have put their faith in the Savior's work at Calvary: "Who hath saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus" (2 Tim. 1:9). Can you apply this promise to yourself?