Tetrapod Zoology

Archives for January, 2008

In the previous article, we covered Mesozoic stem-caudates, the cryptobranchoids, and the sirens. The latter are almost certainly part of the most diverse salamander clade, Salamandroidea (also named Salamandriformes or Diadectosalamandroidei), aka the ‘internally fertilizing salamanders’, or IFS clade (Larson & Dimmick 1993). You can guess from the name what makes the IFS clade a…

Giants and sirens: caudates part I

Did I mention that 2008 is Year of the Frog? Just kidding. In actuality, the conservation effort so many of us are now involved in doesn’t just concern anurans (frogs and toads), but all the living amphibian groups: as you’ll know, there are, besides anurans, two other such groups. We looked previously at the bizarre…

Thanks to everyone who offered an opinion and submitted their thoughts on that photo – and there were no silly answers, because I feel the real answer was not necessarily easy. As some of you correctly determined, the cat was actually not an unfamiliar or obscure species – just the opposite – it’s just that…

Mysterious gracile felids

The large black cats that people report from Britain and elsewhere in the world are sometimes said to look odd, being occasionally described as unusually gracile and less stocky than leopards (for an example in the literature see Trevor Beer’s description and illustration: Beer 1988). If this is true it makes these creatures a total…

How to really keep dinosaurs

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: if you read Tet Zoo, you’re in very good – nay, famous – company. I’ve lost track of how many famous zoologists, palaeontologists, artists, TV personalities and Hollywood starlets are among the regular visitors. Among the many is Mike Skrepnick, who of course needs no introduction.…

It always seemed too good to be true. The story goes that members of a team of Russian geologists from Moscow State University – led by Dr G. Rukosuyev – were, in 1964, surveying Yakutia in Siberia when, at Lake Khaiyr (or Lake Khainyr), they saw a lake monster. But not just any old lake…

Overall I’m pretty pleased with the attention that the first caecilian article received (it’s here): it was in the Sb top five most active articles for most of today (Jan 4th), and elicited a decent amount of response. Thanks as always to everyone who commented and especially to those who added snippets of information –…

Did I mention that 2008 is the Year of the Frog? Well, believe it or don’t, another major conservation effort directed at the world’s amphibians kicks off in January 2008, and in an effort to bring all you wonderful Tet Zoo readers up to speed on amphibian diversity before it launches, we need to get…

How (not) to keep dinosaurs

As a dinosaur specialist I often get asked about Robert Mash’s 2003 book How to Keep Dinosaurs (Mash 2003). It seems that most people (usually those who haven’t read it) think that this book is good, or funny. Don’t get me wrong – I think a book dedicated to dinosaur husbandry is an excellent idea;…