Tetrapod Zoology

Archives for February, 2007

Imbued with god-like powers, the ever-inspirational Mathew Wedel, aka Dr Vector, has wondered what sort of experiments he might play with the biosphere in order to observe the evolutionary results. Given that I just posted an article the other day on Godzilla, it would be a good idea to avoid the whole speculative zoology area…

The Ask A Biologist project

Have you ever wanted to know how much gas a sauropod dinosaur might pass in a day? What an echidna smells like when it dies? If it’s true that Indian rhinos don’t blink? How far a flea might be able to jump in zero gravity?

Camazotz and the age of vampires

In the previous post we saw that vampire bats were more diverse and more widespread during the Pleistocene than are they today. Two things stand out (to me) as being particularly interesting; firstly, that some of these vampires seem to have differed in morphology, and therefore presumably in ecology and behaviour, from the living vampire…

Coming within the next few hours… Image from deviantART.

In the previous post we looked at the biology and behaviour of vampire bats. This time we’re going to take things a little bit further… Prior to the spread of people and domestic livestock, it is thought that vampires (here we’re mostly talking about the Common vampire Desmodus rotundus) most likely fed on capybaras, tapirs,…

I am fascinated by bats, and I wish I knew more about them. And among the most fascinating of bats are one of the few groups that all people around the world have heard of: the vampires….

The vampires are coming..

Watch this space. Full post to appear within next few hours. Keep these thoughts in mind; (1) vampire bats increase dramatically in numbers when megafauna (like modern livestock) are abundant; (2) there were lots more megafaunal elements in the Pleistocene than there are today. Hmm…

The science of Godzilla

To begin with, let’s get things straight and admit up front that Godzilla is not a real animal, nor was it ever. It’s an unfeasibly big late-surviving dinosaur (belonging to the hypothetical taxon Godzillasaurus, according to some), mutated by radiation, with a radioactive heart, and virtually impervious to other gigantic monsters, robots, artillery, laser blasts,…

The science of Godzilla (teaser)

Sorry: this is one of those annoying teaser posts that lots of people hate me for, but I wanted to post it in order to advertise what’s coming next (I’d post it now if I could but I don’t have the time). And I promise that the article is, within the context of this blog’s…

We didn’t just go to the New Forest on Sunday to look at crossbills, fantastic and charismatic as they are. The main reason for the trip was the visit to Blackwater Arboretum: a locally renowned roosting site for…. Hawfinch Coccothraustes coccothraustes. The site is so renowned that, at this time of year, a large number…