Over the past month Tet Zoo has been totally different. In what way has it been “totally different“, I hear you ask. The answer: I have been absent, with all of the posts having been scheduled in advance of my departure. Many thanks to everyone for reading stuff and for leaving comments in my absence. Together with members of a joint team from the University of Portsmouth, University College Dublin and University of Casablanca, I’ve been exploring the Cretaceous rocks of the Kem Kem Formation in Morocco. We discovered loads of stuff, some of it very significant (in fact the results of our expedition are in the news today, I think: go here for one story). Also saw loads of amazing wildlife and collected a lot of neat dead stuff. All of this will be reported on Tet Zoo in time; right now I’m busy catching up with a huge back-log of work and correspondence.
While I was away, the long-awaited world premiere of Nemo Ramjet’s Tetrapod Zoology – The Movie happened. Richard Hing and I watched it in Marrakesh, but unfortunately I didn’t have the chance to post news about it while there. You can watch it (for free) here (UPDATE: it’s now embedded below). The whole thing is perhaps a little too toy-focused to be taken that seriously, there are far too many close-ups of my face, and much of what I say doesn’t make any sense (these are not meant to be criticisms of Nemo’s film-making). But there are a few things to look out for.
The mummified fox makes a brief guest appearance, as do frozen shrews and other creatures from The Corpse Freezer. Look out for my squeaky toy Tomistoma. Some of Giovanni Caselli’s artwork (from Halstead’s The Evolution and Ecology of the Dinosaurs, a highly formative volume for me) is shown. Mark Witton – who of course was in the news lately what with his new chaoyangopterid pterosaur Lacusovagus magnificens [Mark’s life restoration shown here] – also appears (go here for Mark’s thoughts on said beast, or see Witton 2008). Note that our collaborative work consists of me sitting at a desk while Mark hovers behind me, occasionally making snide remarks or little yapping noises (just kidding). And some people might be surprised or even offended by my suggestion that the azhdarchid palaeobiology article posted on ver 1 (here) represented ‘the better part of the work’ on what was eventually published as Witton & Naish (2008). Oh well. Lacusovagus itself also makes a very brief appearance (the actual fossil no less: SMNK PAL 4325).
The lion skull is the same one that appeared in the British big cat episode of MonsterQuest. There are a lot of shots of my two offices (one at UoP, one at home): ironically, both are now no more (though here’s what my home office looked like before I had to pack it all away).
Anyway, let me know what you think. Well done and thanks to Nemo for his work on this, and I hope you enjoy it.
Refs – –
Witton, M. P. 2008. A new azhdarchoid pterosaur from the Crato Formation (Lower Cretaceous, Aptian?) of Brazil. Palaeontology 51, 1289-1300.
– . & Naish, D. 2008. A reappraisal of azhdarchid pterosaur functional morphology and paleoecology. PLoS ONE 3 (5): e2271. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0002271