Tetrapod Zoology

Archives for December, 2009

We’ve had reason now and again to mention the unusual ape photographed at Yaounde Zoo (in Cameroon) a few times. I finally got round to digging out and scanning the only photo of the animal I’ve seen: it was taken by Peter Jenkins and Liza Gadsby and first appeared in the November 1996 issue of…

Hope you had a good Christmas – I did! Here’s an old article from Tet Zoo ver 1, apologies if you recall it from its first airing in 2006. The article is now a bit dated – sorry about that (I’ve added one or two new bits). Even if you’re not an expert on dinosaurs,…

‘Tis a Tet Zoo Christmas extravaganza

In time-honoured fashion, once more it’s time to wish you all best Christmas wishes and share with you my digital ‘Christmas card’… though if you’re a regular correspondent or one of my Facebook friends you’ll already have seen it, sorry…

Long-time readers might have noticed that I tend not to cover new dinosaur stories here at Tet Zoo. Partly this is because I like to be novel: I can’t help but feel slightly disappointed when the subject I’m blogging about gets covered on a hundred other blogs and news-sites. It’s also partly because dinosaurs get…

Welcome to another article in the ‘over-enthusiastic swallowing’ series. As was the case with the previous article (the one on Mushu the pet bearded dragon), this one doesn’t involve the death of the animal(s) concerned. In fact – so far as we can tell – the creature(s) that did the swallowing didn’t suffer any ill…

You’re being interviewed for a TV documentary, and that documentary will focus on your special area of expertise. For the purposes of this article, let’s pretend that you’re an expert on sauropod dinosaurs. While being interviewed, you’re asked about the possible function of a peculiar and enigmatic structure: the cavernous expansion present in the sauropod…

I have to admit that I don’t find trace fossils – the vast majority of which are footprints – that interesting. But some trace fossils are very neat and provide excellent information on behaviour and lifestyle. Examples include pterosaur take-off traces, the trackway of the little theropod that does an abrupt about-turn and runs back…

Encounters with gigantic orangutans

Over the past couple of months I’ve been reading John MacKinnon’s In Search of the Red Ape (Collins, 1974) – one of the first books anyone reads whenever they want to learn about orangutans. The book is stuffed full of anecdotes and other natural history tales about Borneo and Sumatra, and it seems that MacKinnon…

More thoughts on the ZSL meeting ‘The Secret World of Naked Snakes’, held on Monday 7th December. In the previous article I discussed Mark Wilkinson and David Gower’s presentations [for relevance of pic used above, read on]. Alexander Kupfer was up next, and provided an excellent overview of reproductive diversity, viviparity and parental care in…

On Monday 7th December the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) hosted the one-off event ‘The Secret World of Naked Snakes’ (part of the ZSL’s ‘communicating science’ series): a whole meeting devoted entirely to those bizarre, poorly known, limbless, worm-like amphibians, the caecilians. The meeting was attended by over 100 people, which really isn’t bad going,…