Tetrapod Zoology

Archives for May, 2009

Montauk Monster take 2, sigh

Ever one to jump on a bandwagon, and with another ‘mystery carcass’ case still all too fresh on the Tet Zoo list of articles, I’ve decided to blog about this new ‘Montauk monster’ carcass. In case you’ve forgotten, back in July 2008 the global media went absolutely apeshit over a rotten raccoon carcass, informally dubbed…

In the previous post we looked at the small, island dwelling crocodilians of the south-west Pacific. I personally find it exciting that such animals were (in the case of at least some of the species) alive until just a few thousand years ago, that they were encountered by people, and that their remains have eluded…

Here’s an interesting contention: until just a few thousand years ago, small crocodilians inhabited the tropical islands of the South Pacific and elsewhere. In fact, judging from recent discoveries, small terrestrial crocodilians were an ordinary component of many tropical island groups, and they presumably still would be, had they not been made extinct by people.…

Cyril Walker

It is with some sadness that I must pass on the news that Cyril Walker died last Wednesday (6th May 2009). Cyril worked at the Natural History Museum from 1958 until his retirement in 1999. He is best known for his many palaeornithological contributions: often working together with his colleague Colin Harrison (1926-2003), he produced…

Yet again I became distracted the other day, this time by that ‘Jaws’ photo. The previous article is required reading. Thanks to everyone who provided comments, and had a go at identifying the carcass. While many people suggested ‘short-faced dog’, a cat identification seems to have been more popular. Time to try to provide some…

The Australian mainland’s largest extant native mammalian predator is the Spotted-tailed quoll or Tiger quoll Dasyurus maculatus. It weighs, at most, 7 kg. While rumours of Thylacine Thylacinus cynocephalus (15-30 kg) survival persist both in Tasmania and on the Australian mainland (and, incidentally, in New Guinea too), no compelling evidence has yet been presented which…

A little while ago – that is, during Ceratopsian Week – I discussed NMC 8538, the excellent articulated Anchiceratops ornatus specimen today displayed at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa. Alas, while photos of the panel-mounted specimen were published by Lull (1933) and also by David Norman in his The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs,…

Tet Zoo featured on NBN

Yesterday, Tet Zoo was the featured blog on the Nature Blog Network blog: if you haven’t seen the interview please do check it out here.

Dissecting Ozbert the ostrich

After last week’s look at an emu dissection, it seemed only logical to follow up with dissection pics of another ratite. So when John Hutchinson of the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) mentioned his dissection photos of Ozbert the ostrich, I asked politely, and received. Note that all photos are © John Hutchinson and Jason Moore,…

Here is a mystery I’d really like to know the answer to. On the way to school this morning, Will discovered a dead baby bird. Here it is: the photo (which I took on my phone) is atrocious, so there’s little point in showing it at larger size. Clearly, this is an altricial, nidicolous passerine…