Tetrapod Zoology

Archives for June, 2010

Lately I’ve become quite fond of those really weird depictions of fossil animals that were utterly, utterly wrong, yet somehow managed to persist in the literature for decades. Last time round, we saw how the meme of the ‘demonic Quetzalcoatlus‘ passed from artist to artist, and had its genesis in a single, speculative illustration. Here’s…

Here’s a very simplified ‘consensus cladogram’ for Artiodactyla: hey, just like it says in the title. Obviously, it only features living taxa. The reference cited on the side (it’s a slide from a talk about hoofed mammal evolution) is… Price, S. A., Bininda-Emonds, O. R. P. & Gittleman, J. L. 2005. A complete phylogeny of…

A new angle for hippos

Here’s a pretty weird looking photo; it comes courtesy of Markus B├╝hler (of Bestiarium) and was taken at Berlin Zoo. I don’t think I’m spoiling the surprise by saying that it shows a Hippopotamus amphibius…. … albeit a peculiar individual who seems to suffer from prolapsed tissue around the corners of her mouth. Initially I…

In the previous few gekkotan articles we looked at the seriously weird and highly distinctive leaf-tailed geckos of Madagascar. There’s another group of especially unusual, highly notable gekkonid gekkotans I want to write about: the flying, gliding or parachute geckos (Ptychozoon) of south-east Asia and India. These geckos are weird: the adjacent pic (widely available…

One of the most significant papers ever published in the annals of science appeared recently; it deals, for the first time ever, with one of the biggest scientific questions ever faced by the scientific community, and uses cutting-edge technology and awesome powers of deductive reasoning and logic to reach shocking, paradigm-shifting conclusions. I refer, of…