Tetrapod Zoology

Archives for June, 2007

Regular visitors will no doubt have noticed the failure of my promise to post a picture a day. Well, alas, I’m going to have to take a much more relaxed approach, as it has proved impossible to find time even for that. So, I might post a new picture every day on the blog, and…

Return…. to the world of sheep

My plan at the moment (in terms of blog-related writing) is to do nothing other than complete all those nearly-finished articles that I’ve been promising to do over the last weeks… or months… We begin with the second post on sheep, thereby completing what I started in the first sheep post (the first post is…

Tet Zoo picture of the day # 14

Here is a cool photo, taken by either Steve Salisbury or Dino Frey, and previously published in a short article of mine on crocodilians. Initially I was going to use a really neat photo I have of a Cuban crocodile Crocodylus rhombifer leaping vertically from the water to grab a dead hutia, but then I…

Tet Zoo picture of the day # 13

Today’s image shows the ever-interesting Maned wolf, the so-called ‘fox on stilts’ Chrysocyon brachyurus, kindly supplied by Anne-Marie of Pondering Pikaia. Anne-Marie studies these animals for her honors thesis. Maned wolves are well known for being predators of large rodents (like pacas) and similar-sized vertebrate prey, but they consume a surprising amount of plant material,…

Tet Zoo picture of the day # 12

When most people (and that includes palaeontologists and dinosaur specialists) think of Brachiosaurus, they think of the east African taxon B. brancai, named by Werner Janensch in 1914. But they shouldn’t: the ‘real’ Brachiosaurus is B. altithorax from the Morrison Formation of Colorado [later reported from Utah, Wyoming and Oklahoma], named by Elmer Riggs in…

Tet Zoo picture of the day # 11

Today, a new picture by my good friend Mark Witton, shamelessly stolen from his flickr site. And, yes, it shows the Campanian ceratopsid Styracosaurus albertensis eating a theropod carcass. If you think that the idea of a bristly omnivorous ceratopsid is odd and requires some justification, I will direct you to Mark’s accompanying essay. As…

If you’ve read the series of posts on Marc van Roosmalen’s new Amazonian mammals, you should, by now, be fairly open-minded to the possibility that large terrestrial mammals await discovery and description. And if you follow rumours about new mammal species, you’ll have heard of the alleged new big cat species that ornithologist and missionary…

Tet Zoo picture of the day # 10

A Chinese goose: the domesticated form of the Swan goose Anser cygnoides (that’s right, more than one species of goose has been domesticated: this was always assumed based on morphological features, but was confirmed genetically in a 2006 study [abstract here]). The Swan goose is also the ancestor of the domesticated African goose. Wild swan…

Tet Zoo picture of the day # 9

What the hell, thought I may as well do more books before getting back to animals. Here is part of the ‘mostly mammals’ section of the library. Dan will be pleased, as there is a Carrington and a Swinton in there. Also L. Harrison Matthews, Hans Hvass, Kingdon, Guggisberg, and C. J. Harris. Spot the…

Tet Zoo picture of the day # 8

Given that it seems to be such an oh-so-fashionable thing to do in the blogosphere, I thought I may as well join the party and post random photos of some of my bookshelves. This collection is in the unsorted/random section of the library… clearly. Note the run of Palaeontology journals, Cogger’s Reptiles and Amphibians of…