Tetrapod Zoology

Archives for July, 2009

Welcome to the last article in my little series on Inside Nature’s Giants (see part I, part II and part III first). The final, fourth episode looked at giraffes (or, specifically, Rothschild’s giraffe Giraffa camelopardalis rothschildi, or G. rothschildi if you prefer). For me this was the most impressive episode; partly because they covered just…

The third episode of Inside Nature’s Giants (still available to watch, if you’re in the UK) looked at a 17-year-old, 4 m long Nile crocodile Crocodylus niloticus that had died (very much prematurely) at a crocodile park in France (please read part I and part II unless you have already). RVC pathologist Alun Williams tried…

The second episode of Inside Nature’s Giants (read part I first) looked at whale anatomy: this time round, the autopsy was carried out on a Fin whale Balaenoptera physalus that had died off the coast of County Cork, southern Ireland.

Over the past few weeks, Channel 4 here in the UK screened the four-part series Inside Nature’s Giants. If you’re at all interested in the world of zoology you’ll already – I assume – have heard quite a lot about it. I watched it religiously, and let me tell that you that it was excellent,…

Sneak peek

This work comes out in a few months though, as you can guess, I have my own advance copy already… Much more in due time. As before, see if you can identify any of the other works visible (just about) on the shelves. Some are easier than others!

Neil ‘where the fudge are my thalattosaurs’ Kelley once brought my attention to the following piece of art… I thought about saying something intelligent, but decided not to. UPDATE: the image comes from here: Valin Mattheis’s flickr site, and I hope I’m ok in using it.

Yesterday I did a day of work in London. Because everything finished far earlier than I was anticipating, I had time to kill so, accompanied by trusty sidekick John Conway, what else could I do but spend a few hours at ZSL’s London Zoo (ZSL = Zoological Society of London)? We had a great time…

I was sure I’d written about the wonderful subject of duck sex on Tet Zoo before. However, having searched the archives I can’t find much, which seems odd. Male ducks have large – often very, very large – penises. The text-book example is the Argentine lake duck Oxyura vittata, originally reported to have a 20-cm-long…

That cute little Mexican snake was, obviously, a ‘colubrid’. That means, essentially, that it’s a colubroid snake that isn’t a viperid, elapid, or a member of any of the other obviously distinct colubroid clades (more on this matter below). Its small size, short-snouted, wide head and proportionally enormous eyes at least suggest that it’s a…

Una serpiente pequeña

This is a quiz! Identify the Mexican snake! Photograph by Dave Hone!