Tetrapod Zoology

Archives for July, 2010

Welcome to another article on the Matamata Chelus fimbriatus. Yay! In the previous episode we looked briefly at the Matamata’s long, thick neck and on a few aspects of Matamata evolution (a brief introduction to what the Matamata is, and where it lives, can be found here) [in the composite image shown above, the skull…

Another book with my name on it has just appeared. Again it’s a kid’s book: Dorling Kindersley’s Know It All (Baines 2010) – a fantastically well illustrated, fact-packed encylopedia of everything science (and the successor to the highly successful 2009 Ask Me Anything). It’s a multi-authored book (authors: Simone Bos, Julie Ferris, Ian Graham, Susan…

Some weeks ago I wrote a bit about the Matamata Chelus fimbriatus: a weird, flat-headed South American pleurodiran turtle. It’s one of the strangest creatures tetrapods on the planet, and there’s so much to say about it that the previous article ended up being nothing more than the briefest of introductions. Today we start looking…

Squamozoic sneak-peek

Like it says. One day all will be revealed. Not yet. Thanks to Tim Morris

Regular readers will, hopefully, have shared my surprise on learning – firstly – that oystercatchers are sometimes ‘captured’ and killed by bivalves, and – secondly – that someone was clever enough to photograph such an occurrence and publish it (Baldwin 1946). Prior to seeing Baldwin’s paper, I might well have imagined that such cases can…

I said in the previous pronghorn article that the modern pronghorn – Antilocapra americana – is but the tip of the phylogenetic iceberg, if you will; the only surviving member of a group that was previously far more diverse [the adjacent photo (from wikipedia) shows Ramoceros osborni. Yes, it really looked like that, read on].…

The Pronghorn or Pronghorn antelope* Antilocapra americana is a strikingly unique artiodactyl, endemic to western North America. Historically, it ranged from southern Manitoba and Washington in the north to northern Mexico in the south, and to western Iowa in the east. Between 40 and 50 million Pronghorns were alive in 1850; excessive hunting had reduced…

Thanks to everyone who had a go at guessing the identity of the mystery stuffed carnivoran. I am pleased, I suppose, to say that NOBODY GOT IT RIGHT, but some of you did come close. First of all, given that I specifically referred to the animal as a carnivoran (that is, a member of the…

Identify the stuffed carnivoran

Test your skills and identify this carnivoran (sorry the image isn’t larger: this is all I got). It’s not meant to be particularly easy, so good luck. The person who supplied the image is not allowed to play, and it would be appreciated if another individual who has used the same image on his own…

Dinosaurs Life Size, the book

I just received my copies of Dinosaurs Life Size, a children’s book published by Barron’s Educational in the USA and by New Burlington Books in the UK (Naish 2010). You can get it from amazon here (here from amazon.co.uk). You might wonder why I’m advertising a children’s book when I could be publishing articles on…