Tetrapod Zoology

Archives for April, 2009

Alien para-tetrapods of Snaiad

Back in June 2008, Nemo Ramjet launched the official website on Snaiad, one of humanity’s first off-world colonies. Snaiad’s spectacular wildlife has to be seen to be believed: I’ve been meaning to post a brief introduction to the site for months and here, in ‘text-lite’ week, is an excellent opportunity. If you like Nemo’s work…

Great Asian cattle

Cattle are another of those groups of animals that, while they’re familiar and while we take them for granted, are really pretty incredible. The size, power and awesome appearance of many wild cattle never fails to amaze me. Markus B├╝hler (of Bestiarium) has been good enough to share these photos he took of Banteng Bos…

Welcome to a week of honest-to-goodness ‘text-lite’ posts. Yeah, I’ve made promises about going ‘text-lite’ before, but I’ve failed to deliver. This time I’m determined to succeed. We begin with these pretty pictures, provided by Greg Popwell and showing a taxiderm specimen of.. of… well, what? Over to you…

One of my favourite mosasaurs is the unusual Goronyosaurus nigeriensis (Swinton, 1930) from the Maastrichtian of Nigeria and Niger. Mosasaurs are Cretaceous marine lizards, (probably) closely related to gila monsters and kin (the monstersaurians) and monitor lizards and kin (the goannasaurians), and well known for evolving gigantic size (>12 m in some taxa), flippers, and…

How do you stuff an elephant? The – ha ha – obvious answer is ‘with great difficulty’. As for the actual answer: funnily enough, the preparation and mounting of elephants for museums is quite well recorded. These African bush elephants Loxodonta africana are on display at the Field Museum in Chicago (thanks to Matt Wedel…

Yay: day…. err, 4 of Stuffed Megamammal Week (day 1: Khama, day 2; Eland, day 3: Okapi). And now for something completely different… a perissodactyl. Specifically, a rhino and, more specifically still, the weirdest rhino of them all (among extant forms at least): the Sumatran rhino Dicerorhinus sumatrensis. You might have noticed that the claim…

Welcome to day 3 of Stuffed Megamammal Week. So far (day 1, day 2) we’ve looked at bovids. Now for something completely different. Yes, it’s that wonderful, charismatic, beautiful African mammal, the Okapi Okapia johnstoni. Again, this specimen is on display at the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin, and sorry the photos aren’t that…

Welcome to day 2 of Stuffed Megamammal Week! [day 1 here]. This time round, it’s an eland. The individual’s slim, pointed ears and prominent forehead tuft show that it’s a Common eland Taurotragus oryx rather than a Giant or Derby’s eland T. derbianus. Elands are the largest antelopes, weighing up to a ton. I love…

I said the other day that I was going to have go all ‘text lite’ for a while. Here is my solution: a series of short posts, one per day, each of which features a different stuffed megamammal. Yes, welcome to day 1 of stuffed megamammal week. All of the stuffed megamammals you’re going to…

Myth of the six-foot super-owl

I’ve been seriously thinking about letting Tet Zoo lay fallow for a while, as I have a lot on right now and it’s a horrendous distraction that I really shouldn’t spend time on. Producing long articles like the one on the Sakhalin Island carcass are very satisfying, but they soak up a lot of time.…