Tetrapod Zoology

Tet Zoo has left the building

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Farewell my friends: I go on to a better place. Or: conference # 1 is now go, I will be back soon. And no chatting about the above image while I’m away (even though many of you know full well what it’s about). Oh, and please remember to assist the Tet Zoo survival fund if you are at all able (see paypal button at extreme lower left). Byeee.


  1. #1 sparc
    August 16, 2007

    I thaught this was the tet zoo.

  2. #2 Mike
    August 16, 2007

    “Tet Zoo has left the building”

    Would you stop doing that?

    Some of your readers (e.g. me) are old and decrepit and at risk for heart attack at even the fleeting thought that TetZoo might have gone the way of the dodo (if it really is gone!). I’m prepared to try bribery, because this really is the best blog there is, but every time you afright me with the prospect of TetZoo’s demise, it makes my donate button finger go numb! And when considering the size of the bribe, bear in mind I’m just a poor corrupt official.

  3. #3 Anthony Docimo
    August 16, 2007

    Have fun, sir.

    I look forwards to discussion of the pigeons when you return.
    I have only one question: legs evolved from lobe fins, which developed from fins…what did fins arise from?

  4. #4 Sordes
    August 17, 2007

    The drawing on the left is really nice, it’s actually just the second life-reconstruction of this species I have ever seen (and the other one was really ugly). The reconstruction of the skull with a long beak is interesting, it makes it looking a bit like a proto-dodo, and not just like a big version of a recent Goura-species.

  5. #5 David Marjanovi?
    August 17, 2007

    what did fins arise from?

    Folds on the sides of amphioxus. Maybe.

  6. #6 Dave Hone
    August 17, 2007

    Don’t worry guys, when he joins me in Munich I’ll beat him into putting aup a post or two. Sadly thats not for 3 weeks though…..

  7. #7 Norman
    August 17, 2007

    > “Tet Zoo has left the building”
    > Would you stop doing that?

    Seconded! And I say that because I would be genuinely disappointed if you really did stop blogging.

  8. #8 Sordes
    August 18, 2007

    If you are in Munich you should visit the Jagd-und Fischereimuseum (hunting-and fishery-museum). There are many very nice exhibitions. It is one of this old museums which looks nearly like a palace, and there are many very interesting animals, includings some fossils.

  9. #9 Edgar
    August 20, 2007

    And in the fin question….wonders if exist some fossil of a vertebrate with three or more pairs of lateral fins….why the 4-finned fishes(and tetrapods) predominate?

  10. #10 Nick P.
    August 20, 2007

    From Edgar:

    And in the fin question….wonders if exist some fossil of a vertebrate with three or more pairs of lateral fins….why the 4-finned fishes(and tetrapods) predominate?

    Some acanthodians had a series of paired belly fins that look like little serial repeats of the pelvic fins:

  11. #11 cameron
    August 21, 2007

    Acanthodian fish certainly did have a lot more paired fins than what would be normal (sometimes): go here.

    I suppose it is worth mentioning that the coelacanth has bony supports for not only the pectoral and pelvic fins, but for the anal and dorsal fins as well: go here.

    I don’t think a third central leg would have been useful to early swamp walkers/land explorers. Fish that “walk” (frogfish, mudskippers, that weird epaulette shark) either use 2 or 4 fins, but that is due to the limit to the number of paired fins present. If something with internal lungs tried walking on land with more than 2 pairs using lateral locomotion – I think that could be a mess.

    If only Heuvelmans’s cetacean centipede was real, sigh…

  12. #12 Anthony Docimo
    August 22, 2007

    Cetacean centipede?

  13. #13 Edgar
    August 22, 2007

    Very cool link Nick, i had a fish-gasm 😉

    The lung explanation is very good, thanks:)

    still lies the question about not-lunged vertebrates, in the water the predominant fish have 4 paired fins, or 2 sometimes, but not more pairs…….

  14. #14 cameron
    August 22, 2007

    Maybe any more pairs of fins would be redundant in compensating for roll or pitch. Some fast swimming fish have developed paired keels with the same function, but why Acanthodians evolved (and presumably needed) so many fins is beyond me. Tuna, being very fast swimmers, do have “finlets” placed dorsally and ventrally which could be considered paired. There was a Nov. 2005 paper in the Journal of Fish Biology on the subject and their exact function is still uncertain; I’m going to guess the mechanics of Acanthodian fins aren’t too well known either. I’ve heard of robotic fish being built, I wonder what would happen if they tried Acanthodian-style fins…

    As for the cetacean centipede, that is a mythological creature/cryptid reportedly resembling a whale but having numerous lateral appendages. One recent booked appeared to show it with actual limbs, but Heuvelmans thought it just had lateral fins. Could a structure similar to an eel’s dorsal fin or bichir’s finlets (but turned the other way) be plausible on an elongated vertical undulator? Regardless, when I read through the sightings the ones that did have that feature (most alleged reports didn’t, oddly) I thought they could plausible be misidentified dolphin/shark pods/schools, sturgeon, and hoaxes. It was my favorite cryptid too, sniff.

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