Tetrapod Zoology

Archives for April, 2007

Popular culture would have it that turtles are weak, flaccid, crappy organisms with dull social lives, stunted and barely functional internal organs and – it goes without saying – undersized sex organs. Right? WRONG… Warning: the following blog post may be considered unsuitable for viewing by minors.

So, on to more ornithomimosaurs, aka ostrich dinosaurs (part I here). This time, the ornithomimids: this is the ornithomimosaur clade that includes only the edentulous arctometatarsalian taxa. Yes, I said arctometatarsalian*. However, note that some authors have incorrectly regarded Ornithomimidae as synonymous with Ornithomimosauria… and one author has even included therizinosauroids and alvarezsaurids within Ornithomimosauria.…

As events conspire, I again find myself unable to devote time to completing any new blog posts. That’s a shame, as I’m desperate to finish and publish my article on the terrifying sex organs of male turtles (yes really: stay tuned). In desperation, I’ve opted to dig out and recycle some old text. If you…

A week ago I went on a tetrapod-finding trip – with my good friends Mark North and Jon McGowan – to the Isle of Portland. Portland isn’t an island: it’s a promontory, sticking out from the south coast of Dorset into the English Channel. The plan with this post was to show off some of…

Our friend, Veasta

Hmm, how cryptic. Post to follow soon (thanks to Mark North for photo: that’s him on the right). Calling all palaeo-artist friends and colleagues: please start sending me your temnospondyl images (see profile for email).

The most terrestrial of bats

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: we keep coming back to the subject of flightless bats. Besides fictional future predators and night stalkers, there never have been any flightless bats so far as we know. Whenever this subject is discussed however, we have to pay appropriate homage to the most strongly terrestrial…

McGowan’s mystery bovid

I’m out in the field tomorrow: whether I blog on what happens will depend on… what happens. Think snakes, sea caves and mammal tracking. Until then, here is a mystery…

Yesterday the most remarkable thing happened. No, I have not been handed new DNA work on the Dufftown rabbit-headed cat, nor has the rest of Yaverlandia been found. An articulated azhdarchid has not been discovered on a Cretaceous savannah ashfield, nor have the islands of the SW Pacific yielded an assortment of ten new cursorial,…

In the previous post we introduced the aetosaurs, a strange and fascinating group of armour-plated quadrupedal Triassic crurotarsans. Equipped with stout limbs, a strange upturned snout and (usually) toothless jaw tips, aetosaurs have been interpreted as omnivores, herbivores, and even as armadillo-like generalists. But it’s not just their lifestyles that have been the subject of…

Aetosaurs and ethics

More aetosaurs coming soon. If only I didn’t have all this other crap to deal with first.