Tetrapod Zoology

And off we go again…

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Well done to whomever gets the most enlightenment out of the images shown here. As before, they’re relevant to the conference I’m about to leave for and, again, all will be revealed when I get back. Many thanks to those who have been assisting with financial aid, and I look forward to meeting further Tet Zoo readers whom I haven’t met before.

By the way, Tet Zoo the book is now go. As for the TV series…


  1. #1 Zach Miller
    August 23, 2007

    Hmmm. Well, I know that the Crystal Palace “dinosaurs” are being cleaned up and refurbished after a century of collecting dust. That verterbral series, and the accompanying image, seem to depict a short-sailed allosaur, although that’s just a wierd place for a sail. As for the largest image, I can only guess it’s the metatarsal block of a theropod dinosaur. All of these things are…British in origin?

    Is there a reason you didn’t draw the allosauroid as a spinosaur? Because usually it’s the spinosaurs who have really tall sails. Acrocanthosaurus is an allosaur, sure, but it’s sail is low and probably covered in meat.

  2. #2 Nick Gardner
    August 23, 2007

    That’s _Becklespinax_. Also exaggerated dorsal neural spines aren’t limited to spinosaurs, though Darren’s image there has always seemed a bit hyperbolic to me 😉

  3. #3 Mike
    August 23, 2007

    Does it have anything to do with a recent article suggesting that the tall neural spines might have supported not a sail but a hump such as buffalo sport? That Crystal Palace dino looks like Hawkins may have intended that particular similarity.

    Oh, and what will “Tet Zoo: The Book” be like? Broadly speaking. When you get back. There’s a fiver in it for you if you give an informative answer. 🙂

  4. #4 Anthony Docimo
    August 24, 2007

    guesses as to the trio of pictures here –
    * Mantell’s Iguanadon shoulder-hump actually belonged to a predatory carnivore.
    * the sail on an Allosaurid(or other) is going to go the way of the Iguanadon hump.
    * like the Iguanadon’s nasal horn, the Allosaurid sail is going to turn out to be for something different.

  5. #5 neil
    August 24, 2007

    Mmm, them’s is some lovely thero-humps. I look forward to the follow up as I’ve always been luke-warm to the spinosaurids as dinosaurian pelycosaur reconstructions, although I’m still waiting for the hard sell either way.

    But really, didn’t you promise us something about super-pigeons…although it seems like the tet-zoo-spec community has already wandered off into cetacean centipedes. See what happens when you leave us hanging Darren?

    Ooh, shiny!

  6. #6 Tristram Brelstaff
    August 24, 2007

    Never mind the TV series, when is the film coming out?

  7. #7 Pedro Andrade
    August 24, 2007

    I’d say the sail-backed allosaur is actually Becklespinax.

  8. #8 Darren Naish
    August 24, 2007

    Thanks for the comments. For some heavy clues on the pictures, go here.

    What will Tet Zoo the book be like? It’s going to be a tidied-up compilation of articles, mostly (if not entirely) from Tet Zoo ver 1. It’s basically a desperate effort to try and rake in some cash… though I owe the idea to the mighty Karl Shuker.

    And, Neil, you’ll get your super-pigeons soon enough my friend 🙂

  9. #9 Ishwar
    August 26, 2007

    Megalosaurus, earlier referred to as Scrotum Humanum 🙂
    I had blogged about it in 2006/

  10. #10 Darren Naish
    August 26, 2007

    Well, actually, ‘Scrotum humanum’ was never used as a name; it was just a caption on a plate.

  11. #11 mark lees
    August 26, 2007

    I expect your right about it only being a plate label, but frankly who cares, it is one of those wonderfully ridiculous ‘names’ that brings a smile to the face on a dreary day (which today most definitely isn’t). In fact anyone up for a totally fatuous attempt to petition for the supression of Megalosaurus in favour of Scrotum. I can just see learned professors havong meaningful discussions about the genus Scrotum, mothers clouting their six yearold lads for talking about Scrotum, etc. This joke just gets better the longer I think about it!

  12. #12 Mickey Mortimer
    August 26, 2007

    And there’s no reason to think “Scrotum humanum” is Megalosaurus either. It could be a contemporaneous form like Metriacanthosaurus or the unnamed Stonesfield abelisaurian instead.

  13. #13 Dave Hone
    August 27, 2007

    I assume they are bits of dinosaurs misplaced on the animals. Iguanodon (thumb spkie on the nose), Megalosaurs (scrotum) and I imagine you are about to tell us that the posterior dorsal vertebrae of Becklespinx aren’t.

  14. #14 Sordes
    August 27, 2007

    I really hope that there will be some day a post here about the actual morphology of dinosaurs with elongated dorsal spines.

  15. #15 Zach Miller
    August 27, 2007

    And it’s more than just dinosaurs! Several pelycosaurs had sails, including Dimetrodon and Edaphosaurus. Also, a cute lil’ amphibian, Platyhystrix, had a sizeable sail.

  16. #16 Nathan Myers
    August 27, 2007

    What’s this? Did somebody say “terror pigeons”?

  17. #17 David Marjanovi?
    August 27, 2007

    Also, a cute lil’ amphibian, Platyhystrix, had a sizeable sail.

    Platyhystrix was a decidedly uncute dissorophid temnospondyl.

  18. #18 Steve Bodio
    August 27, 2007

    “Tet Zoo the book is now go”

    Sign me up!

    And now, giant pigeons please.

  19. #19 Ross
    August 31, 2007

    the whole scrotum humanum. I was wondering if this might be a modern fable. Im sure i saw somewhere the same plate with something similar to “teste antediluvii” inscribed underneath with the explanation that it belonged to a giant who had been “testament to pre-flood times”. Could this be the real caption? Somehow teste/testii whatever it actually was got transcribed to scrotum as a way to laugh at primitive types since thinking that fossil bones might belong to giants from long ago= not that silly but thinking that humeral ends are ballsacks= teh funnay!

  20. #20 Darren Naish
    September 2, 2007

    Response to Ross: for the record, I have a copy of Plot’s original 1677 plate in front of me right now, and you are right. The only label attached to the ‘scrotum’ is the number 4. His text on p. 131 describes how the specimen…

    ‘has exactly the figure of the lowermost part of the thigh-bone of a Man, or at least of some other Animal, with the capita femoris inferiora, between which are the anterior (hid behind the sculpture) and the larger posterior sinus, the seat of the strong ligament that rises out of the thigh, and that gives passage to the vessels descending into the leg: and a little above the sinus, where it seems to have been broken off, shewing [sic] the marrow within of a shining spar-like substance, of its true colour and figure, in the hollow of the bone, as in Tab. 8, Fig. 4.

    There’s even more, but I have to stop here. Plot clearly knew what he was talking about, and wasnt the one responsible for the whole its a pertrified giants scrotum thing.

  21. #21 Dave Godfrey
    September 2, 2007

    I’m not saying anything as I saw the talk, other than to point out that Samuel Beckles was a very interesting chap with a very large collection- and the decidedly irritating habit of chopping up disarticulated material into 2 square centimetre sized blocks of matrix.

    (Apologies for bailing on you last night- at least I got some kip).

    [from Darren: glad you got back in one piece Dave, and didn’t end up collapsing in a gutter or something. Good to catch up with you at the meeting.]

  22. #22 johannes
    September 3, 2007

    > Platyhystrix was a decidedly uncute dissorophid temnospondyl.

    I think a certain kawaii factor can’t be ruled out for dissorophids, especially Cacops.

  23. #23 Lars Dietz
    September 3, 2007

    Ross: you’re probably confusing this with Andrias scheuchzeri, the giant salamander of hningen. Scheuchzer’s figure of this indeed has a caption “Homo diluvii testis” (Man, witness of the Flood). I have definitely seen the caption “Scrotum humanum” with the megalosaur bone, I think it was by someone named Brookes, in the 18th century.

  24. #24 David Marjanovi?
    September 3, 2007

    for the record, I have a copy of Plot’s original 1677 plate in front of me right now, and you are right.

    Wow. I had no idea.

  25. #25 RM1(SS) (ret)
    September 6, 2007

    Tet Zoo the book is now go.

    Cool. Estimated date of arrival? Estimated size?

  26. #26 Justin Tweet
    September 7, 2007

    Just checked, and “Scrotum humanum” is attributed to Richard Brooks, 1763 (“Natural History of Waters, Earths, Stones, Fossils, and Minerals, with their Virtues, Properties, and Medicinal Uses; to which is Added, the Method in which Linnaeus has Treated these Subjects”). (capitalization and punctuation may vary)

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