Tetrapod Zoology

Archives for June, 2008

By now I hope it’s clear, even to novices with no special interest in the extinct wildlife of the Cenozoic, that ancient South America had what we might technically call a Really Awesome Faunal Assemblage. Astrapotheres, sebecosuchians, phorusrhacids, teratorns, gigantic caimans, madtsoiid snakes, sloths, glyptodonts… and this is only half of it, there’s so much…

There’s a big crossover, sure, but I often wonder if everyone who visits Tet Zoo also visits SV-POW! Today is the day we put that to the test. To find out more about this image…. …. you must, by law, go here. Next: oh no, it’s the giant killer opossums!

I was recently asked a reasonable and intelligent question on elephants. One thing led to another, and after a bit of research I discovered the fascinating world of elephant masturbation. If you want to collect sperm from a (captive) elephant, how do you do it? Luckily youtube provides the answer. It seems that manual stimulation…

Here I am again, derailing the Tet Zoo publishing schedule, but while I have them on my mind I may as well deal with them now. It’ll be brief (no, it wasn’t). GOLDEN MOLES!!!1!, or chrysochlorids. If you think true moles, or talpids, are weird (think about it for a minute: they are), you ain’t…

My dead mole

Phil Budd (of the Southampton Natural History Society) recently gave me a dead mole Talpa europaea, and here it is. It isn’t the first mole for my collection: I have another one that I skeletonised long ago. Moles really are amazing. Their forelimb and pectoral anatomy has to be seen to be believed, and is…

You wouldn’t know it from Tet Zoo’s content, but for many, many months now I’ve been working continually on ichthyosaurs, the ‘fish lizards’ of the Mesozoic. I’m not ready to talk about the project yet, but will do at some stage. An awful lot has happened on ichthyosaurs since the late 1990s, mostly thanks to…

This is the third time that Tet Zoo has featured a dead giraffe (for the first time go here, and for the second go here). It’s not that I don’t like giraffes – quite the contrary – it’s just that anything and everything about them is fascinating. Lions Panthera leo are incredibly adaptable, and seem…

As if the revelations about Brontornis and all that new work on the ameghinornithids weren’t enough, 2007 also saw the publication of a long-awaited new study on the age of Titanis walleri, North America’s only phorusrhacid, and – supposedly – a species that survived until as recently as 15,000 years ago. Yes, it’s time to…

Chicken chicken chicken

Shame, shame, shame, oh shame on me. I saw the following on John Conway’s Philosophica Neopalaeontographica and have become so obsessed with it that, here I am, stealing it. It’s not, even, really about tetrapods…

That most famous of yeti tracks

The image depicted in the previous brief post is one of those famous iconic photos that many people have seen but few know anything about: it’s an alleged yeti track, photographed by Eric Shipton and Michael Ward on the 8th November 1951 on Menlung Glacier during their exploration of the Gauri Sanker range in the…