The Platypus: A Problem for Evolution?
Evolutionists must provide examples of transitional fossils for people to believe that one species evolved into another throughout the biological community within their time scale. One species that has been mentioned by creationists as a problem for evolution is the platypus, which is a small mammal about the size of a household cat with thick hair all over its body with the exception of its most unique features: its "duck-bill," its claws used for burrowing, and its feet, which have more resemblance to a duck. Discovered by Europeans in the 18th century, the platypus is an aquatic mammal that lays eggs (monotreme) and has webbed feet and a beaver-like tail. Therefore, the platypus is a hairy mammal with features similar to ducks and beavers and is found primarily in eastern Australia. This origin of this species is obviously difficult for evolutionists to describe and in particular to chart an evolutionary line with suitable transitional fossils. Creationists, however, believe that this unique animal was created during Day Six of creation week about 6,000 years ago along with other mammals. The platypus is just another example of unique species that appear suddenly in the fossil record with no previous transitional fossils to describe their origin. Another topic related to the platypus is how it reached Australia from the Ararat region. This migration could have been accomplished partially by the platypus itself as it can swim and walk while humans could have introduced it to Australia within the last several thousand years. The platypus has been seen swimming in saltwater, despite its known freshwater habitat, and this gives evidence that the platypus could have traveled to Australia through seawater. The platypus has a complex system that aids in finding food through its bill using compex nerve receptors, making the platypus a highly developed species unlikely to be a transition between birds and mammals as some evolutionists have suggested. In addition, the existence of such a highly complex feature like the platypus has is difficult for evolutionists to explain, in addition to the egg-laying feature. The echidna, the only other egg-laying mammal on earth, is a "spiny anteater" and has many differences with the platypus, further challenging the evolutionary model.