Tetrapod Zoology

Archives for May, 2007

It has always been rumoured that some snakes grow to sizes that exceed the 10 m record generally accepted as the authenticated maximum: this was for a Reticulated python Python reticulatus shot on Sulawesi in 1912. Numerous stories and anecdotes discuss Reticulated pythons and anacondas Eunectes murinus that far exceed this, with the most famous…

Tet Zoo picture of the day # 6

The amazing skull of a giraffe Giraffa camelopardalis, courtesy of Mark Witton. This presumably wasn’t an old individual (you can clearly see the sutures of most of its bones), nor does it have the enlarged ossicones and general gnarliness of mature males. The specimen also has a low median hump; in mature males this is…

Tet Zoo picture of the day # 5

Apologies to all for total lack of proper posts recently – I am just too busy. However, several posts will – in theory – appear very soon, and I hope that they will prove really, really interesting (especially to people interested in our views on the diversity of extant mammals. And please don’t try and…

Tet Zoo picture of the day # 4

A not-particularly-realistic model of the Triassic protorosaur Tanystropheus. This animal is best known for its bizarre elongate neck: this consisted of 12 tube-like vertebrae. There wasn’t much flexibility between them, which raises the question as to how, and how much, the animal could bend its neck. How it lived is still a mystery and there…

Tet Zoo picture of the day # 3

The skull of the immense Pleistocene rhino Elasmotherium sibiricum, with reconstructed horn, as displayed at the Natural History Museum in London. Relatively well known as fossil rhinos go, E. sibiricum is the largest and best known species of the diverse rhinocerotid clade Elasmotheriina. I have a post planned on elasmotheres, it’s called ‘Giant unicorn rhino…

Tet Zoo picture of the day # 2

This image shows a life-sized restoration of the South American tapejarid pterosaur Tapejara imperator as displayed at the Karlsruhe Museum fur Naturkunde. This remarkable pterosaur was named by Diogenes de Almeida Campos and Alex Kellner in 1997 and is famous for its immense sail-like crest, supported anteriorly by a tall vertical spine. A new generic…

Tet Zoo picture of the day # 1

Following a recent phone discussion with Dave Hone of Ask A Biologist, I’m going to try something really lame in a desperate effort to boost my number of hits. Shudder. I am going to start posting a new picture every day. Yes, every day. The pictures might be of anything, so long as they are…

Same old story: Naish plans to blog on long-promised subjects, Naish gets distracted by cool new stuff, Naish ends up writing about cool new stuff and delaying long-promised subjects for even longer. Here, inspired by a paper I recently published with University of Bristol’s Barbara Sánchez-Hernández and Mike Benton (Sánchez-Hernández et al. 2007), I’ve made…

Rabbit-headed cats in the news

I promised myself not to bother, but what the hell. Last week I assisted journalist Marc Horne in his research on rabbit-headed cats, and the result was an article in the Scotland on Sunday newspaper that you can read here. I’m not going to write anything new on these cats, but the article does raise…

Another one of those projects too-long-in-gestation has finally appeared and, unlike the others (e.g., the much-delayed British dinosaurs article), it’s one that I haven’t previously mentioned on the blog (I think). For the last couple of years I’ve been working, on the side as it were, with University of Bristol’s Barbara Sánchez-Hernández and Mike Benton…