Tetrapod Zoology

Archives for October, 2009

For the full story on all of this, you’ll have to nip over to SV-POW! I guarantee you won’t regret it. My favourite ‘fact’ about potto neck spines: they demonstrate a link with the Chupacabras (no, I don’t accept this, but some do take it seriously, apparently).

One of the most famous of ‘missing’ birds is the elusive Night parrot, an obscure nocturnal species discovered by John McDouall Stuart in 1845 (though not named until 1861). Small, reluctant to fly, highly nomadic and cryptically coloured, it’s never been well known and even now there are only 23 or so specimens in collections.…

Redstarts: good

Thanks to everyone who had a go at identifying the Moroccan passerine pictured here yesterday, and shown here again. As virtually everyone said, it’s a female or juvenile male redstart (Phoenicurus). The fact that it was seen in Morocco in December makes an identification as Common redstart P. phoenicurus unlikely, as this species winters further…

Here’s a bird I saw in the snowy Atlas Mountains last year… Can you tell me what it is, and – better (as I know the answer) – can you tell me something interesting about it? Photo by Bob Loveridge.

The Loch Ness monster seen on land

As you’ll know if you’re familiar with the literature on the Loch Ness monster – and as you won’t if you’re not – Nessie is not only seen in the water; there are, in fact, quite a few claimed sightings that were made on land. The most interesting thing about these accounts is that they’re…

Balaeniceps-themed birthday card

I received some really nice cards for my birthday last week. But this has to be my favourite… (oh, after the one from the kids of course)… I mean, how often do you see Balaeniceps rex on a birthday card? Not often enough in my view (with a nod to those who have a phobia…