Tetrapod Zoology

Archives for February, 2010

Welcome to yet another article in the (outstandingly successful, yet recycled from ver 1) series on babirusas. Observant readers will have noticed that, strangely, I’ve refrained thus far from using a scientific binomial for babirusas, plus I’ve consistently (I think) referred to them in the plural, and not as a single species. What gives?

The bipedal ‘boxing’ behaviour of babirusas is odd, but arguably odder is a unique sort of ‘ploughing’ behaviour they’ve recently been shown to practise. On being presented with an area of soft sand, captive babirusas (mostly males) have been noted to kneel down and push their head and chest forward through the sand, the result…

In the previous articles we looked at the distribution and phylogenetic position of babirusas, and also at a bit of their behaviour, biology and morphology. While babirusas are famous for the bizarre upper canines that emerge from the dorsal surface of the snout in males, the function of these teeth remains uncertain. As we saw…

Another article on babirusas – yaay! Like many (but not all) pigs, babirusas are omnivorous, and are said to eat invertebrates whenever they find them. They have also been reported to eat fish on occasion, to catch small mammals, and even to catch and eat the juveniles of other babirusas (Leus & Morgan 1995). They…

More on babirusas! Go here for part I. While babirusas look pig-like and are classified as part of Suidae, they’re distinctive and unusual [image above from wikipedia]. Combining rather slender legs with a barrel-shaped body, they can exceed 1 m in length and have a shoulder height of 65-80 cm. Some individuals weigh as much…

In the interests of recycling old material from Tet Zoo ver 1, I present… yes, a whole series of articles devoted to one of the most unusual and remarkable of hoofed mammals. Come on, we all love babirusas. If you’ve been with Tet Zoo from the beginning, none of what’s to follow will be new…

Sibley and Ahlquist’s ‘Tapestry’

Well, I really was very much enthused, inspired and uplifted by the many kind and supportive comments so many of you added to the previous article. Thank you all. So enthused, in fact, that I couldn’t help myself, and took time out of lunch breaks and so on to produce ‘ticking over’ material for Tet…

The death of Tetrapod Zoology

Every now and then, financial woes and other problems mean that I go through a major period of apathy and self-deprecation. And, after four years of very successful operation, I have seriously been considering calling it quits on Tetrapod Zoology. Extreme, heartfelt thanks to the friends and others who have provided help, or have expressed…