Order - Monotremes (Egg Laying Mammals) free html hit counter
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Like other mammals, monotremes are warm-blooded with a high metabolic rate, have hair on their bodies, produce milk to feed their young, have a single bone in their lower jaw, and have three middle ear bones. Monotremes were very poorly understood for many years, and to this day some of the 19th century myths that grew up around them endure. It is still sometimes thought, for example, that the monotremes are "inferior" or quasi-reptilian, and that they are a distant ancestor of the "superior" placental mammals. It now seems plain that modern monotremes are the survivors of an early branching of the mammal tree; a later branching is thought to have led to the marsupial and placental groups.