Tetrapod Zoology

One of the lamest things people do on blogs is (in my humble opinion) write about their own blogroll. I mean: how banal, vapid and insipid can you be? Anyway, on an unrelated note, observant readers will note… that I’ve just updated my blogroll – hooray! – and have added a brand-spanking-new and extremely exciting Speculative Zoology section. Awesome. Just to remind you how awesome speculative zoology can be, here’s a picture I stole from Tim Morris’s Speculative Dinosaur Project blog: it features a panoply of future penguins…

i-457e83a1eb0ff43cf18f31ea85129485-Spec_penguin_panoply.jpg

Having mentioned speculative sphenisciforms, it would be wrong not to talk about the penguins of Spec, where the Leering baby-eating penguin of death Mortipinguis paedophagus [shown below], the piranhakeets, elephant teals and aviserpents live. “Wiinterrr” at Penguinology should definitely blog about these species some time.

i-9ff8d6aa76149a82bb00be01c541b7a1-Leering_baby_eating_penguin_of_death.jpg

On a more serious note, I have a bit of a seabird thing going on at the moment. The next few posts – when I get round to finishing them – might reflect that, but might not.

Comments

  1. #1 David Marjanovi?
    December 30, 2008

    Just a general warning: Do not click on the “Back to Spec” link at the bottom. It leads to an outdated version hosted by pop-up hell. In many, probably most, cases, it will immediately try to install malware. It’s worse than the screaming ninja penguin of DEATH!!!, the giant psycho-killer penguin of DEATH!!!, and Matti’s evil piranhakeet together (incidentally, we never found out if the other two piranhakeet species are also evil).

    I’ll fix the link, and a few other problems with the page (I didn’t check, but it’s possible that all other links on it also lead to 0catch.com!) after dinner, erm, lunch, erm, in a few hours anyway.

  2. #2 Dartian
    December 30, 2008

    On a more serious note, I have a bit of a seabird thing going on at the moment. The next few posts – when I get round to finishing them – might reflect that, but might not.

    Can I make a slightly off-topic but still bird-related wish? Could you please also post the remaining items of the ‘ten birds meme’-series in the reasonably near future? I want to know which species you chose. (I know, I could just take a look at your old Tet Zoo site to find out, but that would be cheating.)

  3. #3 johannes
    December 30, 2008

    > it features a panoply of future penguins…

    Those are actually Spec penguins, not future penguins. Spec is set in a parallel timeline, where the K/Pg extinction never happened, and non-avian dinosaurs are still around, not in the future.

  4. #4 Turdus
    December 30, 2008

    Yes Darren, please finish the “ten birds meme.” I am anxious to see which Turdus thrush you have included! I just know there must be one of this nearly cosmopolitan, very successful genus in that list!

  5. #5 Darren Naish
    December 30, 2008

    Are you sure they’re Spec penguins? They don’t match any of the species listed in the Spec cladogram: I can’t see any aviserpents or penguins of death, for example (though the animal with the tufts could be a species of piranhakeet). Oh, is it that these are Spec taxa that have yet to appear on the website?

    As for posting the rest of the Ten Bird Meme birds, ok.

  6. #6 David Marjanovi?
    December 30, 2008

    Oh, is it that these are Spec taxa that have yet to appear on the website?

    Well, first, they’re suggestions for Spec, not officially accepted species — at least not yet. Second, you’re right anyway: most Spec pages are horribly, horribly outdated. Which reminds me — I actually forgot my promise made above! I’ll get to work right away…

  7. #7 Kevin Schreck
    December 30, 2008

    I really wish SpecWorld was revived and updated. I always enjoy these speculative evolution projects, and we’ve learned so much about mesozoic life, that it would only contribute more to even more crazy, inventive ideas and illustrations.

  8. #8 Craig York
    December 30, 2008

    A seabird thing, eh? Well, as long as its not albatross
    flavored…

    Happy New Year, and best wishes to Tet Zoo in the year ahead.

  9. #9 David Marjanovi?
    December 30, 2008

    I really wish SpecWorld was revived

    It is alive. (Check out the Latest page.) It’s just living very slowly, because it’s on my university webspace, so that the limiting factor for anything to get uploaded is my time. :-(

    I have now fixed the penguin page; it is safe, all links ought to work. It took a long time because Brian’s HTML was as atrocious as his penguins. The page even retained vestiges from the time when each species had its own page! That was, like, six years ago, if not more! I also added missing links [huh huh, heh heh] and fixed the spelling and other stuff. The part about the procellariiform nostrils is now highlighted in yellow because it’s doubtful and needs to be discussed.

  10. #10 Pavel I. Volkov
    December 30, 2008

    Darren, I also have a version of futuristic penguin – the relic freshwater species from N. Zealand. Here it is:
    http:www.sivatherium.h12.ru/enbirds.htm#microsphenicius_pusillus_en
    Sorry for mistakes in translation…

  11. #11 Pavel I. Volkov
    December 30, 2008

    Grrrrrrrrrr! Wrong address… Try this:
    http://www.sivatherium.h12.ru/enbirds.htm#microsphenicius_pusillus_en
    Or simply
    http://www.sivatherium.h12.ru/enbirds.htm

    Yes, in our vision of world of future penguins are rarity. They are substituted by flightless gulls.

  12. #12 Tim Morris
    December 31, 2008

    Wow, thanks so very much Darren! :D

    Now I have the honor of having been featured as an Illustrator on your a-mazing blog :D

    Incidentally, Spec probably has too many penguins already, and putting my particular clutch of penguins into the future instead is a great idea :D Thanks!

  13. #13 Graham King
    December 31, 2008

    Speculative Zoology, great!!

    I like Dougal Dixon’s Porpin and his awesome Vortex (respectively, dolphin-analog and baleen-whale analog penguin-descendants).

    seen here

  14. #14 Will Snyder
    December 31, 2008

    Hi, I’m the owner of Speculative Evolution. I’d just like to say that I’m utterly amazed that you included my site in the blogroll. A thousands times thanks. If you don’t mind, I’d like to do a feature on you for the site (that goes for the Spec Gods if they see this as well).

  15. #15 Alan Kellogg
    December 31, 2008

    I’m a nasty minded sort of fellow who sees the late Cretaceous fauna is largely bound for an ignoble end. Too many changes, too many new mammals and birds. We may not have needed the asteroid. Then again, we might have.

    For my very speculative world of Dragon Earth I gave my sense of the absurd a bit of fun. In this case the asteroid got diverted by an early 20th century time probe. One of the few that was to some degree a physical object. Magical objects were being crafted at this time, but it wasn’t until Einstein’s work on shaping space-time inspired development of new technologies that such became reliable.

    However, at just 3 kilos in mass, the thing was simply too light to do what it did. At least not in any sensible universe. No, many a Dragon Earth scientist has concluded the dragons of the time played a part in the matter. As an 80 year old, 90 pound akido master on vacation in Alaska said after flipping a 500 pound brown bear , “Timing, just timing.”

    Take a giant asteroid, have it hit a time probe in just the right way at just the right time, and that asteroid ends up part of one of the rings of Neptune. Got all broken up about it too.

    So the dragons got to see what happens when a giant rock doesn’t screw with things. Namely, the dinosaurs mostly died out anyway. Except for one, possible two species of sauropod, and between 15 to 20 species of neo-ceratopsians (hadrosaur descendents with a lot of evolving behind them) depending on who you talk to. Oh, and the basilisks, but those are listed among the birds.

    As you can see, some of us get a bit outre where speculative zoology is concerned. But I figure, if you want real dragons and not those protoplasmic blimps some clods call dragons, then your world is going to have a phenomenon reality doesn’t.

  16. #16 David Marjanovi?
    January 3, 2009

    Too many changes, too many new mammals and birds.

    Could you be more precise?

  17. #17 martian
    February 28, 2009

    Well we all know that mammals and birds populations exploded, in late Cretaceous as they filled the ecological niches that were perviously occupied by archosaurs ; what happened after was unavoidable you know what they say “give them an inch…
    Then great environmental changes occurred further destabilizing their grip on the world; after that plants changed, the apparition of seeded fruit helped all lot in furthermore killing the dinosaurs (by giving vitamins to birds and mammals) :) ….
    And we mustn’t forget why some paleontologist say that dinosaurs died out 65 million years ago: a giant meteorite, combined with serious volcanic activity did the rest.

  18. #18 David Marjanović
    February 28, 2009

    Well we all know that mammals and birds populations exploded [...] in [the L]ate Cretaceous

    No, afterwards.

    Then great environmental changes occurred further destabilizing their grip on the world; after that plants changed, the apparition of seeded fruit helped all lot in furthermore killing the dinosaurs

    Really, you have a lot to learn about the fossil record!

    And we mustn’t forget why some paleontologist say that dinosaurs died out 65 million years ago:

    Some paleontologists are regular readers of this blog, you know… This is not 4chan here. This is ScienceBlogs.

    a giant meteorite,

    Yes.

    combined with serious volcanic activity did the rest.

    No, the main episode of eruptions ended 100,000 years before the boundary, and its only global effect (which also ended 100,000 years before the boundary) was an increase in the CO2 content and therefore the temperature of the atmosphere.

  19. #19 bill
    December 8, 2009

    cool