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Actually male platypi have venomous spurs on their rear legs. A dose from one of these can kill you or make you think you are going to die. The genome has recently been sequenced.  See:

www.nytimes.com/2008/05/08/science/08platypus.html

Along the lines of your metaphor, one of my favorite platypi from the "City of the Fallen Angles" was former Mayor Richard Riordan's "public-private partnerships," which appeared mostly to be a means of putting public money into private pockets.  In this case the the venom is injected into the property tax ratepayers, the school district and families using LAUSD.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue May 13th, 2008 at 12:53:53 AM EST
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