Tetrapod Zoology

Archives for July, 2008

More on weird odontocete skulls. This time, another river dolphin: this is the skull of the Amazon river dolphin or Boto Inia geoffrensis, also known as the tonina, bufeo or pink dolphin. Three generally recognised Inia taxa exist, and views differ as to whether these are subspecies or species. I. g. humboldtiana inhabits the Orinoco…

Scaphokogia!

Yay: day 3 of seriously frickin’ weird cetacean skull week. While we’ve previously been looking at the skulls of extant species, this time we have a fossil (or, actually, a diagram of one: from Muizon 1988). It’s Scaphokogia cochlearis from the Miocene Pisco Formation of Peru, described by Muizon (1988). Exhibiting an incredible amount of…

Welcome to day 2 of seriously frickin’ weird cetacean skull week, and here we look at one of my favourites: Platanista, the Asian river dolphins or susus. Susu is a Hindi onomatopoetic name based on the exhalation noise these dolphins make, and other local names include susuk, sishuk, shushuk and sishumarch. There are two species:…

Welcome to another of those week-long series of themed posts, produced (ostensibly) to save me from spending time on blogging (other jobs require priority). Previous series have been ankylosaur week and sea monster week. This time round we’re looking at seriously frickin’ weird cetacean skulls although, actually, we’re only going to be looking at odontocetes,…

Very late to the party here (the story was first published waaaaaay back on the 18th), but it just seems wrong not to cover this at Tet Zoo. Sincere apologies to the Bleiman brothers at Zooillogix and to John Lynch at Stranger Fruit, both of whom covered the following several days ago, but what the…

On identifying a dolphin skull

We looked previously at a partial skull, collected in northern Africa. Apart from the odd outing when it’s been used in teaching, it’s been sat in a box on my desk for a couple of years now, forlornly hoping that it might one day earn a place in the peer-reviewed literature. However, that would only…

This incomplete fossil skull was collected from the coast of northern Africa by Dave Martill and is suspected to represent a new species. It’s one of those annoying back-burner projects that sits there on your desk for months and months.. eventually the months turn into years and still have you haven’t gotten round to dealing…

The idea that non-avian dinosaurs might have been able to climb trees is (I assume) not all that familiar to people outside the field of dinosaur research, but within the field of dinosaur research it has become an increasingly familiar idea within recent decades. Thanks to the discovery of such theropods as Microraptor and Epidendrosaurus,…

Annoying teaser ahoy! The tree-climbing dinosaurs are coming…

It’s such a load of bull

Once upon a time longhorn cattle were abundant and kept by many people; in fact, they were the most abundant domestic cattle, and this breed more than any others was selected for ‘improvement’ by Robert Bakewell (1725-1795) of Leicestershire, the great pioneer of domestic cattle breeding (note that I’m talking here about English longhorn, not…