• WordNet 3.6
    • n Ornithorhynchus type genus of the family Ornithorhynchidae
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • prop. n Ornithorhynchus (Zoöl) A genus of monotremes including the platypus (Ornithorhyncus anatinus). See Duck mole, under Duck.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n ornithorhynchus The typical and only genus of the family Ornithorhynchidæ. There is but one species, Ornithorhynchus anatinus, or O. paradoxus, the duck-billed platypus, duckbill, duck-mole, or water-mole, inhabiting Australia and Tasmania, of aquatic habits, living in burrows in the banks of rivers, laying eggs, and feeding on insects, mollusks, and worms. The fur is thick and soft, of a glossy dark-brown color. The fact that the animal is oviparous (though not generally credited till 1884) has long been known, and the egg was figured many years ago. The eggs are about ¾ inch long by ½ inch broad, white, with a flexible shell or pod, like a “soft-shelled” hen's egg. See cuts under duckbill and interclavicle.
    • n ornithorhynchus [lowercase] An animal of this genus; a duckbill.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • ns Ornithorhynchus an animal in Australia, with a body like an otter and a snout like the bill of a duck, also called Duck-bill
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
NL., fr. Gr. 'o`rnis 'o`rniqos, a bird + snout, beak
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Gr. ornis, ornithos, a bird.


In literature:

Your African plant seems to be a vegetable Ornithorhynchus, and indeed much more than that.
"More Letters of Charles Darwin Volume II" by Charles Darwin
We saw birds, but not a kangaroo, not an emu, not an ornithorhynchus, not a lecturer, not a native.
"Following the Equator, Complete" by Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
We saw birds, but not a kangaroo, not an emu, not an ornithorhynchus, not a lecturer, not a native.
"Following the Equator, Part 2" by Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
Mr. Kinsey gave me an ornithorhynchus, and I am taming it.
"Following the Equator, Part 4" by Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
Think of the recently discovered ornithorhynchus of Australia!
"A Strange Manuscript Found in a Copper Cylinder" by James De Mille
So is the Ornithorhynchus.
"Punch, Volume 101, September 19, 1891" by Francis Burnand
Even in Australia itself the ornithorhynchus and echidna have had to put up perforce with the lower places in the hierarchy of nature.
"Falling in Love" by Grant Allen
My name is Ornithorhynchus Paradoxus.
"Dot and the Kangaroo" by Ethel C. Pedley
The interclavicle is absent from all mammals except Echidna and Ornithorhynchus.
"Dragons of the Air" by H. G. Seeley
Water beaked-animal (Ornithorhynchus); 60.
"The History of Creation, Vol. II (of 2)" by Ernst Haeckel