Tetrapod Zoology

Archives for June, 2009

The Leopard cat Prionailurus bengalensis is native to southern and eastern Asia, including the Philippines and Indonesia. It’s a highly variable little cat, regarded by some workers as consisting of at least ten subspecies. Some (like the Sumatran leopard cat P. b. sumatranus) are small and with relatively few markings, others are large with thick,…

For millenia, a battle has raged between alligators and water melons. Who will win? Well, the answer’s obvious: one has a bite force of over 15,000 Newtons, and the other one’s a water melon. Yes, the alligator vs water melon craze has gone mainstream, as testified by its appearance on Sky News… though, god help…

It’s well known that elephants have a major impact on their environment: indeed, they’re what’s known as ecosystem engineers. In a new study, Ahimsa Campos-Arceiz of the University of Tokyo reports that Asian elephant dung might serve a hitherto unreported role as a microhabitat for certain small frog species. While inspecting Asian elephant Elephas maximus…

The photo of the Northern ground hornbill Bucorvus abyssinicus featured here yesterday was posted entirely on a whim. And I figured that I didn’t need to say much about the species, nor about ground hornbills in general, given that they’ve been discussed at length on Tet Zoo before. But then I realised that the only…

The other ground hornbill

Ground hornbills – or bucorvids – have been Tet Zoo mainstays since the early days of 2006. However, the only species that I ever feature is the Southern ground hornbill Bucorvus leadbeateri (sometimes incorrectly referred to by one of its junior synonyms, B. cafer). It’s easily recognisable for its red facial skin and low casque.…

Lysorophians and aïstopods

At some stage, I’ll have to write full-length articles on lysorophians, aïstopods, the remaining temnospondyls, nectrideans, microsaurs, and assorted other groups of Palaeozoic and Mesozoic non-amniote tetrapods. Alas, this hasn’t happened yet. In the meantime, here are some slides from one of my talks…

Oh, what the hell: given that we’ve already covered a new Wealden theropod, and have looked a bit at the palaeobiology of Majungasaurus within the week, I may as well resist my urge not to do more dinosaurs. In other words, I may as well cover Limusaurus as well, despite my previous protestations. It is,…

The aquatic Majungasaurus, or not

I’ve had no time to complete any new articles, and after the text you’re reading now – originally intended to be a comment appended to Cute, furry, has claws, bites – got to reasonable length, I thought I may as well turn it into a brief article. I’m still not sure how a long thread…

I think I said recently that there have been way too many dinosaurs on Tet Zoo lately. It isn’t that I don’t like dinosaurs: it’s just that I aim to provide balance and, let’s face it, writing about charismatic megafauna all the time – especially dead charismatic megafauna – doesn’t help. However, I’m sure you’ll…

Cute, furry, has claws, bites

I’m sure you’ll agree that there have been way too many dinosaurs on Tet Zoo over the past few weeks. Let’s balance things out by showing a cute little rodent. Your challenge: to identify it to species and – if at all possible – to say something quite interesting about the animal, or about the…