Tetrapod Zoology

Archives for August, 2009

After Andrewsarchus, the best known mesonychians are the mesonychids… and, as we saw previously, Andrewsarchus may not be a mesonychian anyway. Mesonychids are a mostly Eocene group that originated in the Paleocene; Mesonyx, from the Middle Eocene of North America, was the first member of the group to be named (Cope published the name in…

We saw in the previous article that Andrewsarchus, most ‘famous’ of mesonychians (even though it may well not be a member of this group), is not just a scaled-up Eocene wolf, but really something quite unusual. Indeed, it’s so unusual that Szalay & Gould (1966) decided that it’s worthy of its own group, Andrewsarchinae. In…

The previous article was a brief, cursory introduction to the mesonychians. Time to look at things in a bit more detail… Andrewsarchus mongoliensis is, of course, ‘the’ mesonychian for most people, and one might get the impression that it’s a typical member of the group. In fact it’s most definitely not typical, and – ironically…

What the hell, I’ve decided to keep the ball rolling with the Paleogene mammals, and do a whole week series on mesonychians. Yes, let’s deal with a group that everyone has at least heard of. Mesonychians are an assemblage of Paleocene and Eocene mammals, best characterized (or are they?) by the superficially wolf-like carnivorous or…

What did a dinoceratan do?

Inspired by yesterday’s comments, I’m very keen to get posting on the Paleogene mammals we were talking about. I mean, seriously, I’ve got stuff prepared on pantodonts, apatemyids, pantolestans, dinoceratans, artocyonids, mesonychians… I just do not have the time to finish it and publish it. So here’s another sneak peek, which I’ll discuss in due…

On to our second day of talks (read part I first): things kicked off with Mike A. Taylor and Angela Milner’s talk on the history and collections of Street. Pinpointing the locations of original quarries is always difficult as exact records are often not kept, and of course the areas once used for quarrying change…

I promised myself back in 2007 that I’d cut down on the number of conferences I attend. There’s a problem with that: I’m pretty bad at keeping promises (at least, to myself). This year I’m attending a ridiculous four conferences, and I’ve just returned from the first of them (please remind me why I have…

Return from Avalon

If you’ve been paying attention you’ll know that I’ve been absent for a little while: I’ve been at the Sea Dragons of Avalon conference, held at Street in Somerset and focusing on the evolution of marine reptiles (and other organisms) across the Triassic-Jurassic boundary. The meeting also included a tribute to Arthur Cruickshank, a day…