Below is a speech I gave to my class today. Thought you might find it interesting. The title is "The Platypus: An Australian Icon."
When I think of Australia and the animals that live here, I think of kangaroos, koalas, wombats and platypuses, all of which are Australian icons. I’ve seen and touched and even fed many of these animals. However, I’ve never seen a living platypus. That’s why I chose it for my topic.
The platypus is an Australian icon for 3 reasons. First, you can only find a wild platypus in Australia. They live in streams, rivers, swamps and lakes around most of eastern Australia and Tasmania. They have been around for 120 million years. (Wow!) They’ve been called different things over the years. European settlers called the platypus a water mole. The Aborigines called it the jimmialong.
The second reason that platypuses are an Australian icon is because they are a part of a special group of animals called monotremes. A monotreme is a mammal that lays eggs.
The third reason that platypuses are an Australian icon is because they simply look funny. When you first see one you might think it’s a beaver. Until you see it’s face! A platypus may have the body and tail of a beaver, but it has the bill of a duck! (Weird.) It also has webbed feet for propelling itself through the water.
Because they are rare, I may have to be happy with looking at a picture of one on the 20 cent coin, some stamps, and lots of souvenirs.