Tetrapod Zoology

Archives for January, 2009

The Pogeyan, a new mystery cat

I’ve pretty much given up on TV. I occasionally watch a few things (The IT Crowd, Doctor Who, QI, Never Mind the Buzzcocks), but mostly it’s all shit and I’d be very happy to not have a TV at all. Once in a blue moon, however, there is something really good. On Friday evening (Jan…

There just haven’t been enough squamates around here lately (well, apart from the anguids). Because I have guilt, here is a good photo of a beautiful animal: a Plumed basilisk Basiliscus plumifrons. Thanks to their striking appearance, basilisks are often featured in books and on TV, but people only ever say the same two things…

Most people who know stuff about animals ‘know’ that the White rhino Ceratotherium simum owes its vernacular name – not to its colour – but to its wide, flattened lips. After all, the ‘White’ rhino is not really any whiter than any other rhino. So, the ‘white’ must – so everyone has been saying –…

Fish owls in reverse

By popular request, in this and in a few later articles I’ll be reposting the rest of the Ten Bird Meme text originally posted at Tet Zoo ver 1 in 2006 (where appropriate, I’ve added corrections and updates). The ‘Ten Bird’ birds I’ve covered so far are Ifrita, Shoebill, Tibetan ground-pecker, and Flying steamer duck.…

Duckbilled monsters

Do you remember that weird old Brontornis picture we looked at back in June? Here it is again… We’re not, on this occasion, interested in the Brontornis, but instead in the freaky long-necked duck-billed monster that’s menacing it.. or, that it’s menacing (impossible to say). That creature – and, from hereon, that’s what I’ll call…

England ‘does a Montauk’

Last year the blogosphere and global media went nuts over the ‘Montauk monster’. A small mammal corpse that washed up on the beach at Long Island, New York, it was not an alien, government experiment, or sea-monster, as widely claimed by idiots worldwide, but – without doubt – a dead, rotten raccoon. This month a…

Goodbye Bulo Burti boubou (sort of)

Here we are, at the beginning of 2009. And here’s where I get that horrible feeling that – on the ‘things to do for 2008’ list – so many things remain incomplete. Among these are a number of Tet Zoo posts that were cutting-edge and topical when I started them, yet are now not so…

A shop called “Desman”

It’s not everyday that you discover a shop named after a group of fairly obscure amphibious lipotyphlans. While in Spain last year, I was intrigued by this shop…

Slow-worms of 2008

At the start of 2008 I promised myself – in fact, I might even have said it on Tet Zoo – that I’d photograph all the Slow-worms Anguis fragilis I see. The bad news is that I only saw four and – of those – one was dead. Nevertheless…

Fascinated by boobies

Extant sulids – the gannets and boobies – are admittedly pretty uniform (greater diversity existed among fossil forms, as we’ll see at some stage), but they still differ in many subtle ways. In the previous sulid post we looked at the gannets: we now turn to the boobies [composite image shown here features Blue-footed booby…