Tetrapod Zoology

Archives for January, 2009

A stork in ice and snow

The White stork Ciconia ciconia is a well-known migrant, moving from Europe down to Africa (either via the Iberian Peninsula or via the Middle East) during the winter. Increasingly, however, birds are choosing to over-winter in Europe. The numbers are startling: in southern France, eight birds over-wintered in 1996-1997, but 172 did so in 2003-2004…

The giant green fragrant parrot

‘… [it] clambers up and down trees because it cannot fly … it purrs like a cat and smell like a posy of fragrant flowers … it allows itself to be picked up and handled without demur or apparent concern’ (Vietmeyer 1992, p. 69).

Last year Dave Hone (of Archosaurs Musings) and Mike Benton published their analysis of the English rhynchosaur Fodonyx spenceri. Ever one to make promises that I’m unable to fulfil (in the short term, at least), I vowed to cover the group at some stage. Neil Kelley recently reminded us that 2008 was the year in…

Kleptoparasitism at Westbury Manor

Over the weekend Will and I visited another local museum: this time Westbury Manor Museum, Fareham (Hampshire, England). I particularly liked the several bird paintings they have on display, one of which – the one you can see here – was duplicated and enlarged and used as the back-drop to a case of stuffed local…

Mysterious channels of Alca torda

The mystery skull from the other day is indeed that of a charadriiform: more specifically that of an auk and, most specifically of all, that of a Razorbill Alca torda. Well done Dartian and Kryptos18, and well done everyone else for trying. I admit that I deliberately showed the skull in ‘front view’ (rostral or…

Because it’s the weekend…

Test your skills and impress us all by identifying the object! Dammit, missed Atomic Betty…

STOP ‘feeding’ the ducks

I don’t know about the rest of the world, but in Britain there is a very entrenched tradition of ‘feeding the ducks’. People go on walks (usually at the weekend), and they take with them bagfuls of bread (sometimes even whole loaves). They then proceed to throw all the bread in the water. After a…

Weirdest cat ever. Seriously.

It’s very funny how things sometimes work out. I had absolutely no plans whatsoever to cover cats at Tet Zoo this week. Then, on Friday, I watched the documentary that featured the pogeyan* and, obviously, decided that it was worth covering. And, during the County Museum visit on Saturday, my encounter with the Hayling Island…

Happy THIRD birthday Tet Zoo

Oh my god. Two years at ScienceBlogs have passed, and Tet Zoo has now been going for three years. It all started on January 21st 2006 when, for no good reason at all, I started a blog over at blogspot.com. Yes, Tet Zoo is three years old. Time to look back at the past year…

The Hayling Island Jungle cat

Over the weekend I and a bunch of others from the Southampton Natural History Society visited the collections at the County Museum, Winchester (Hampshire, UK). This is a research collection and local repository, and is not open to the public. We saw tons of stuff and had a great time. I took Will (my 7-year-old)…