Tetrapod Zoology

Archives for February, 2009

‘Revising’ the Siberian tiger

Dave Hone – who’s had more than his fair share of mentions here at Tet Zoo over the past several days – accompanied me on a visit to Marwell Zoo yesterday. We had a great time, but unfortunately got all too little paper-writing done (after all, this is what scientists normally do when they meet…

The tiniest snakes

More snakes, because – thanks to Dave Hone – I have some more pictures to use (and, I’ll be honest, at least some of my posts are ‘picture-driven’). We’ve looked previously at the unusual, mostly small, worm-like, burrowing snakes grouped together as the scolecophidians here. In that article, however, I didn’t really emphasise the small…

Not two, not three, but FOUR anacondas

Anyone who’s anyone has heard of the Anaconda. But in fact ‘the’ Anaconda is the Green anaconda Eunectes murinus. Most zoologically-informed people know that there’s a lesser-known, smaller relative of this large species, namely the Yellow or Paraguayan anaconda E. notaeus. Usually only reaching 3-4 m in length (as opposed to 5-9 m for the…

Yes, more snakes: after yesterday’s horned snake article (thanks to everyone who chipped in with ideas and comments) I’ve decided to stick with snakes for a while. I can knock these articles up in a few minutes, and unfortunately I just don’t have time at the moment to finish the backlog of planned and semi-complete…

Why do some snakes have horns?

Dave Hone (of Archosaur Musings and Ask A Biologist) kindly provided the photo you see here of two captive West African gaboon vipers Bitis rhinoceros (NOT East African gaboon vipers B. gabonica: see comments), and initially I was going to use it in a ‘picture of the day’ post. One thing led to another and…

More stuff from the archives… or, from Tet Zoo ver 1 anyway. The following article is about the bizarre jerboa Euchoreutes naso. Back when I wrote the article (2006), there were no photos of this species available, and I had to resort to using a single painting. However, a glut of good photos are now…

Chock-full of rodent bones

I picked up a lot of dead stuff in Morocco. One of the neatest things I brought back was this very large owl pellet (now broken into bits), discovered by Dave Martill at the same place where we were awoken at night by big, hooting owls assumed to have been Desert eagle owls Bubo ascalaphus…

200 years of kiwi research

While checking a few details on kiwi skeletal anatomy the other day, I discovered some old material I’d written on these strange birds. I’ve updated it, and here’s the first lot of it. Kiwi have been known to science since 1813. In that year George Shaw (then the Keeper of Zoology at the British Museum),…

A case of dead kingfishers

Well, arguing about the physiology of Mesozoic archosaurs has been fun but I just can’t put the time into it. Moving on, here’s something entirely different…

Just when I’m in the middle of talking about the new dinosaurs and pterosaurs that were published in January (part I, part II, part III), February is turning out to be just as interesting. Yesterday saw the debut of the new basal sauropodomorph Panphagia protos (Martinez & Alcober 2009), and you’ll know from SV-POW! that…