Australia's platypus, one of only two egg-laying mammals, now has a second claim to fame. It has a sixth sense in its duck bill.
Scientists from Melbourne's Monash University have discovered a sensory system located along the furry mammal's bill that can pick up electrical charges as small as those caused by the flick of a shrimp's tail.Dr. Uwe Proske, who led the team from the university's physiology department, said it was the first recorded incidence of electro-receptors in mammals.
For 50 years scientists have wondered how platypuses found their prey in the muddy streams where they hunt, Proske said in the university's latest newsletter.
"Using electro-detection, platypi probably construct a three-dimensional electrical picture of the bottom of muddy streams," said Proske.