Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Safari ltd. Platypus

Hey guys. Platypuses are weird. Am I amusing you yet? Do you see the wit in my observational humor? Good. Because millions of years of specialized evolution isn't funny. No,the life and death struggle for dominance of a niche ecosystem isn't funny. It's ADORABLE.

This is the Safari LTD. Platypus figure, and I'll just say this upfront: It's the best platypus on the market. No other company has managed to capture the flat, chubby little proportions of a semi-aquatic monotreme. The pudgy little cheeks to the fuzzy slap-tail, it's all there. Honestly, Papo is the only competition, but it's offering is permanently swimming. Semi-aquatic mammals can't get down like that. The paint on this Safari model is gorgeous as well, with a dappled brown coat, and a slick glossy belly.

Fun aside, platypuses are the only members of their genus left on earth. They're the result of EXTREMELY specialized evolution in an isolated ecosystem. Australia broke off from the rest of the continental land mass and stranded the species that lived there. That's why Australia has so many species that are completely unique to that continent: They had no way to leave, and evolved into unique niches. To put it into words: Australia is weird.  


There was also a three foot long platypus relative named obdurodon that went extinct millions of years ago, but if you put this guy next to a 3-4" action figure, it totally works! It's like two animals in one, if you really stretch the truth. What value! I've actually taken to mounting Mega Bloks Halo Spartans in her back and dubbed her the "Battlepus". That's the thing with animal replicas: They're statues. They don't really do anything, so you have to either really like that animal in the exact pose it will be in forever, or be prepared to make your own fun.

Honestly, it's hard to find replicas of Australian animals. How many lions does one child need? Wouldn't you rather make an echidna? A wallaby? Maybe a thylacine that doesn't look ridiculous? I'm having trouble filling out this Australia diorama with five kangaroos and one platypus...

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