What has a bill like a duck's and the body of a beaver? A platypus, probably. Engaging text follows a female platypus through her life, while sidebars offer in-depth information about this unique monotreme and her environment. Vivid, accurate illustrations capture the wonder of this amazing creature. Scientists believe that platypuses and other monotremes may be closely related to reptiles. One hundred million years ago many kinds of monotremes lived on earth. Eventually, however, most monotremes were crowded out by mammals that gave birth to live babies. Platypuses probably survived because Australia had fewer large mammalian predators than other continents and because platypuses evolved unique features that allowed them to hunt and live in freshwater streams.