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Brief Summary

    Ornithorhynchidae: Brief Summary
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    The Ornithorhynchidae are one of the two extant families in the order Monotremata, and contains the platypus and its extinct relatives. The other family is the Tachyglossidae, or echidnas. Within Ornithorhynchidae are two genera, Obdurodon and Ornithorhynchus:

    Family Ornithorhynchidae Genus † MonotrematumMonotrematum sudamericanum Genus †Obdurodon — an ancient branch of the platypus family †Obdurodon dicksoniObdurodon insignisObdurodon tharalkooschild Genus Ornithorhynchus Ornithorhynchus anatinus (the modern platypus)

    Another two genera, Steropodon and Teinolophos, were originally thought to belong to Ornithorhynchidae. However, they were both placed into a new family, Steropodontidae. This decision was made based on differences in the dentary recovered from the Griman Creek Formation, Lightning Ridge, New South Wales, Australia. This dentary is the holotype for the genus Steropodon, and thus the lack of information is what led to the original misclassification. Further research on Teinolophos has indeed shown it to be an animal much different from ornithochrynchids, lacking a beak, possessing a more complete mammalian dentition and retaining primitive ears connected to the jaw as in more basal mammals.

    The extinct Ornithorhynchus maximus was once included in Ornithorhynchus, but has now been determined to be from the echidna family as Zaglossus robustus.

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Comprehensive Description

Morphology

    Morphology
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    Other Physical Features: endothermic ; bilateral symmetry

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    bibliographic citation
    Sorin, A. and P. Myers 2001. "Ornithorhynchidae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Ornithorhynchidae.html
    author
    Anna Bess Sorin, Biology Dept., University of Memphis
    photographer
    Phil Myers, Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
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    Animal Diversity Web
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    Ornithorhynchidae/physical_description

Behavior

    Behavior
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    Perception Channels: tactile ; chemical

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    The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors
    bibliographic citation
    Sorin, A. and P. Myers 2001. "Ornithorhynchidae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Ornithorhynchidae.html
    author
    Anna Bess Sorin, Biology Dept., University of Memphis
    photographer
    Phil Myers, Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
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    Animal Diversity Web
    ID
    Ornithorhynchidae/communication

Reproduction

    Reproduction
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    Key Reproductive Features: gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual

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    cc-by-nc-sa-3.0
    copyright
    The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors
    bibliographic citation
    Sorin, A. and P. Myers 2001. "Ornithorhynchidae" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Ornithorhynchidae.html
    author
    Anna Bess Sorin, Biology Dept., University of Memphis
    photographer
    Phil Myers, Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
    original
    visit source
    partner site
    Animal Diversity Web
    ID
    Ornithorhynchidae/reproduction