Tetrapod Zoology

Archives for April, 2010

Can you identify this peculiar odontocete? As always, dead easy. IF you know the answer. Thanks to Markus Bühler for the image. Oh, and while I’m here…

More on gekkotans, and this time were going to look at various details of gekkotan anatomy. Gekkotans are, being lizards, lizard-shaped (though with the near-limbless pygopodids being snake-like). But what makes them really special is that certain parts of their bodies – in particular, their hands and feet, and often their tails – are highly…

I really like sloths, but one of their recently discovered habits might make me like them a little bit less…

Now that the main gekkotan groups have been introduced, it’s time to get down to some of the details. We begin with stuff on lifestyle and behaviour… [gekkotan motley below – mostly assembled from wikipedia – features (top, left to right) Aeluroscalabotes felinus, Pachydactylus bibronii, Rhacodactylus ciliatus and (bottom, left to right) Nephrurus amyae, Phyllodactylus…

As you may know, Tet Zoo has been going for four years now. Despite this, there are still entire tetrapod clades – consisting of hundreds or even thousands of species – that have scarcely been mentioned here, if at all. Lately, I’ve been feeling ‘gecko guilt’. Yes, I can barely believe that the enormous squamate…

Earlier this year the awesome new ornithocheiroid pterosaur Zhenyuanopterus longirostris Lü, 2010 was described from the Yixian Formation of Liaoning Province, China. It has pretty incredible teeth, as well as a very interesting premaxillary crest…

This weekend (17th-18th April 2010), the 9th European Symposium of Cryptozoology is being held at Engreux in the south of Belgium. I meant to attend and give a talk, but had to cancel for financial reasons. And it’s just as well that I did, given that virtually all flights from out of the UK have…

Aberratiodontus: worst paper ever?

Yet another entry from the fieldguide (though substantially updated and enlarged)… What might be one of the strangest Cretaceous birds was described in 2004. I refer of course to Aberratiodontus wui of the Jiufotang Formation of Liaoning Province, China. Named for a near-complete specimen, Aberratiodontus was regarded by its describers (Gong et al. 2004) as…

Again, more recycled text from the Mesozoic bird section of the fieldguide… Alexornis antecedens from the Upper Cretaceous (?Campanian) La Bocana Roja Formation of Mexico was first described in 1976; its remains were discovered in 1971 by H. J. Garbani and J. Loewe. The bones they found – various elements from the shoulder, wing and…

When there’s no time for anything else, at least I can recycle text from the aborted field-guide (see bottom for previous excerpts). Hmm, I really should get that published. Anyway… Protopteryx fengningensis was named in 2000 for two specimens discovered in the Yixian Formation of Fengning County, northern China [adjacent figure from Zhang & Zhou…