Tetrapod Zoology

Archives for February, 2007

By now most people know that feathers are no longer unique to birds. Thanks mostly to a series of wonderful fossils from the Lower Cretaceous Yixian Formation of Liaoning Province, China, we now know that feathers first appeared in non-avian theropods, and were – later on – inherited by early birds…

One of the most remarkable organs in nature might have one of the most remarkable functions, if the results of a recent study are to be accepted…

The sonic lance hypothesis

It’s funny what you can find kicking around in the corner of a friend’s flat. Full post to follow soon…

Chimpanzees make and use spears

By now you’ve probably heard the news: chimpanzees have been reported manufacturing, and using, spears (Gibbons 2007, Pruetz & Bertolani 2007). I’ll say that again. Chimps Pan troglodytes make and use spears….

Therizinosauroids and Altangerel Perle

A story of cheeks, beaks, feathers, bizarre theropod dinosaurs, and truly, truly amazing fossils….

If you like amphibians and non-avian reptiles, Britain is a crappy place to live: we have just three native lizard species, three snakes, three newts, two toads and two frogs. But do we have a few more: are various ‘neglected natives’ lurking in our midst?

In the week to come…

Sorry, another one of those really annoying teasers. But, come on, you love it really. Coming later this week… … at long long last, those lost tree frogs… … proto-narwhals and the case of the beluwhals… … the amazing social life of the Green iguana… … and maybe something on feathered theropods. Plus vampire pterosaurs,…

So in the previous post – required reading before you get through this one, sorry – we looked at the various hypotheses that have been published on the origin of sanguivory (blood feeding) in vampire bats. We saw that only two hypotheses matched with the phylogenetic pattern of feeding styles seen in phyllostomid bats and…

Continuing the vampire theme, I here want to discuss another of those really, really interesting things about vampire bats: namely, how did their blood-feeding behaviour evolve in the first place?

The Godzilla Effect

Look what happens when you blog about Godzilla. Huh. Back to normality soon…