I should be noted that this was in an era when the English were still struggling with Darwin's theory of survival of the fittest. The majority of the population still believed that God created Man. The Garden of Eden was foremost in their minds.
Today, the platypus' existence is accepted without question. There has not been a lot of fossil evidence about how it came to be. Recently, this gap has been filled by a fossil of an ancient duck-billed marine reptile. Like most fossils which illuminate family trees it was found in China.
Eohupehsuchus brevicollis lived 248 million years ago. Only two other examples of this creature have been brought to light, both in other parts of China. Like the platypus it was small for its time. It lived in an inland sea.
While its body proportions were different from the platypus, clear parallels can be seen: a broad body, no teeth and paddle arms for swimming. Eohupehsuchus brevicollis had a very short neck like the platypus. The fossil is an excellent specimen for research being nearly complete. It has evidence of being attacked, though it did survive this and lived for some time afterwards. The animal was a survivor of the mass extinction of the Permian era 252 million years ago.
✴ Evolution by Ty Buchanan ✴