National Geographic : 1949 Feb
4 Cecil, One of Bronx Zoo's Two Duck-billed Platypuses, Thrives on Worms To feed both requires 25,000 earthworms a month (page 269). Imposing scientific name of this queer Australian mammal, Ornithorhynchus anatinus, simply means "creature with a bill like a duck." Platypus, from the Greek, means "flat-footed." Platypuses have rubbery, ducklike beaks, fur-covered bodies, and webbed feet. New York Zoological Society + Grapefruit Attracts a Host of Diners at the Bronx Zoo Worm Farm Earthworms normally do not congregate this thickly, but on a piece of rich land there may be more than a million to an acre. Charles Darwin, the famous natu ralist, and one of the first to study earthworms inten sively, believed that a fertile acre might support 50,000 worms. Modern scientists have learned that he vastly underestimated the number.