The platypus is such a weird-looking creature that the first specimen sent to the British Museum in 1799 was thought to be a hoax with its confusing combination of fur, duck-like beak, beaver-like tail and webbed feet.

But the misunderstandings about the monotreme wasn’t helped by taxidermy attempts, which resulted in specimens that Cambridge University Museum of Zoology assistant director Dr Jack Ashby calls ‘fattypus’ and ‘platysausage’.


“We often find flatypuses that are pancake flat. We find fattypuses that are overstuffed, or sometimes the platysausage, which is long and thin and sausage-shaped,” he said.

“The taxidermist had to imagine what the animal looked like when they were rebuilding it, which has led to a lot of mistakes.

“Australian mammals are less accurately depicted in museums than any other group of animals I’ve come across.”

The echidna, also a monotreme, is a close second for “most often incorrect” taxidermy species in museums, Dr Ashby said.

In all fairness to museum taxidermists though, crap taxidermy is actually quite common:



And, in case you haven’t noticed, there’s a bit of a kerfuffle in the US today in the the lower chamber of Congress where they are constitutionally required to select a Speaker and cannot move on to legislating until someone is handed the gavel.

But the Republicans are blocking their own leader Kevin McCarthy taking the role – forcing everyone into a historic tenth round of voting.

McCarthy is not stepping aside and Democrats are sitting back with a beer and watching the show.

For context, the last time so many ballots were needed to appoint a candidate was in 1833.



The ASX 200 is trading up 0.37% at lunch today, but only four out of 11 sectors are in the green.

Materials (aka mining) was leading the winners, up 2.24% with Energy a close second, up 1.48%.

On the gain train was Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) up 4.17%, Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN) up 3.67% and IGO (ASX:IGO) up 2.53%.

Leading the sector laggards was real estate, down 1.38%.


Chinese shares ended higher yesterday on hopes for a strong economic recovery in 2023 after the country emerges from the pandemic.

The Shanghai Composite Index ended 1.0% higher at 3155.22, the Shenzhen Composite Index rose 1.6% and the ChiNext Price Index added 2.8%.

European stocks were mixed following mostly positive Asia trading and ahead of an expected slightly higher US open. 

The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 dipped 0.15%, the French CAC 40 shed 0.22%, and the DAX lost 0.38%. The British FTSE 100 gained 0.64%.

Asian stocks had yet another good session, continuing the theme of ex-US indices making progress in 2023.

IG analysts wrote. “Thursday marks the beginning of a focus on US employment, with initial claims and the ADP report, before Friday’s big nonfarm payroll number.



Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for January 6 [intraday]:

Swipe or scroll to reveal full table. Click headings to sort:

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Winsome Resources (ASX:WR1) has flagged strong lithium mineralisation from assays at its Adina project in Quebec, Canada, including 1.34% Li20 over 107.6m.

Plus, the drilling returned exceptionally high-grade intersections of up to 2.21% Li20 over 30m from 41m to 71m.

This comes off the back of recent drilling which identified an impressive extension of the main pegmatite body strike length to 620m with further extension expected.

“Having an average of 1.34% Li2O for over 100m of pegmatite from surface speaks of a world-class lithium project and paves the way for the much expanded drill program we now have planned at Adina,” MD Chris Evans said.

“It is also very encouraging for the other impressive pegmatite intersections and visual estimates from drilling of subsequent holes up until the Christmas break.”

The helicopter-supported drilling program at Adina has been extended significantly from an originally planned 5,000m to more than 20,000m. A second drill rig is currently being mobilised on site to assist with the expanded drilling and resource definition program. 



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