Tetrapod Zoology

Archives for February, 2008

Ankylosaur week, day 2: Tarchia

Welcome to day 2 of the ‘ankylosaur week’ series – for the background on this go see day 1 on Hungarosaurus. Before talking about today’s ankylosaur, here’s a quick ‘everything you wanted to know about ankylosaurs but were afraid to ask’. Ankylosaurs were ornithischian dinosaurs from the Jurassic and Cretaceous, they have a highly modified…

Ankylosaur week, day 1: Hungarosaurus

My to-do list has once again reached epic proportions, and includes three technical projects that now need urgent attention, about ten editorial jobs that need to be dealt with, several overdue book reviews, a lot of consultancy work, and a book synopsis. Plus of course this is all done in ‘spare time’ given family life…

Time to do more astrapotheres. In the preceding article, we more or less introduced astrapotheres, had a quick look at their diversity, and ran through some of the basal forms. Here we get to the good stuff on astrapotheriid astrapotheres, on lifestyles, and on that question that keeps us all awake at night: just what…

While googling for astrapothere images recently I came across the image used here: wow! This is a life-sized reconstruction of the gigantic Miocene alligatoroid Purussaurus, first named in 1892 for P. brasiliensis from the Upper Miocene Solimões Formation of Brazil. Most of the salient features that are diagnostic for Purussaurus can be seen in the…

Dude, where’s my astrapothere?

Anyone even vaguely interested in fossil mammals has the same problem at some time or another. You repeatedly encounter the same bizarre and fascinating beasts, long to know more about them, and yet have to endure a lifetime of frustration in the absence of any good, comprehensive information. Typically, one species in the group –…