"What about you? Which of these would you say was your favourite from the 10 that we’ve come across?"
Sir David Attenborough
"It’s very difficult. Of the lot I think I’d have to vote for the platypus. It is the most wonderful, extraordinary, breath-taking creature I've ever seen! The nice thing about it is everybody said it’s one of the rarities in Australia, no one ever sees it and it needs protecting. But they've now been studied and there are lots of them in the south east corner of Australia. In most of the rivers, certainly, a great number still have populations of platypus, and of course the attitude towards the natural world has changed even in my life time. And now in Australia they recognise that they have a great treasure and they guard it very carefully and are very proud of it.
They recognise that they have a great treasure and they guard it very carefully and are very proud of it.
If you sit on a river bank very quietly, in the evening or the morning particularly, you’ll suddenly see this little dimple in the river where the platypus has come up to breathe. We managed to use a thing called an optical probe to go into the tunnel of a platypus, and we were able to put a radioactive tag on one of the animals being studied by a scientist. We could use the radioactive tag to plot where it walked down the tunnel into the bank, about 10 yards, and finally it came to a stop. This was its breeding chamber! So now all we had to do was very carefully probe into the chamber with a gun to insert an optical probe into the chamber to see a tiny little platypus supping milk. Wonderful!"