Tetrapod Zoology

Archives for September, 2010

This rather unassuming photo is included for all you cetophiles out there (or, should that be cetaceophiles? Whatever). These rather crappy fossils represent an assortment of odontocete fragments from the Red Crag deposits of Suffolk, England. I initially thought that I recognised the rostrum fragments (the bigger fossils over on the right) from Richard Owen’s…

It’s always been clear that pterosaurs were present in the Cornet assemblage (for the background on Cornet and its archosaur fossils, you need to have read part I). However, exactly what sort of pterosaurs are present at Cornet has been somewhat uncertain: the Late Jurassic ctenochasmatoid Cycnorhamphus, ornithocheirids and the Early Cretaceous Asian dsungaripterid Dsungaripterus…

Among one of many interesting and perplexing Mesozoic fossil assemblages is that known from Cornet, Romania. I’ve been really interested in this collection of archosaur remains – currently housed at the Tarii Crisurilor Museum, Oradea – ever since I first heard about it in the 1990s, and recently I’ve been lucky enough to work with…

For no particular reason, here are some interesting raptor photos. Birds of many kinds often sit around with their wings only partially folded, partly hanging down at their sides; one reason for this is that they’re sun-bathing and are using their wings to soak up heat. Among raptors, this behaviour is well known for Turkey…

In the previous article on the 58th Symposium on Vertebrate Palaeontology and Comparative Anatomy (SVPCA), held in Cambridge, UK, I discussed some of the work that was presented on stem-tetrapods and sauropods. This time round, we look at more Mesozoic stuff – pterosaurs in particular – before getting on to Cenozoic mammals.

I said I wouldn’t do any conferences this year. But I lied, and have recently returned from the 58th Symposium on Vertebrate Palaeontology and Comparative Anatomy (SVPCA), this year held once again in Cambridge, UK. Compared to the enormous, sprawling SVP (= Society of Vertebrate Paleontology) meeting with its numerous concurrent sessions (last year held…

Regular readers will know that I like covering obscure animals… with luck, really obscure animals. The problem with such animals is that nice images hardly ever – sometimes never – exist. When they do exist, they’re protected by copyright and are unavailable for use on a blog. I’m therefore eternally grateful when people are able…

The last few weeks have been pretty exciting for people interested in theropod dinosaurs…. but then, you could say this about most weeks: new theropods are constantly being published. Last week saw the publication of the weird, functionally two-fingered, short-footed maniraptoran Balaur bondoc from the latest Cretaceous of the HaĊ£eg Basin in Romania (Csiki et…

I hope everyone has been enjoying my write-ups of Inside Nature’s Giants (ING), series 2 (for comments on episode 1 go here, and for thoughts on episode 2 go here). Time to look at ep 3: the big cat one. Given that big cats are more popular (among the general populace) than are either sharks…

Episode 2 of series 2 of Inside Nature’s Giants was devoted to pythons (for an article reviewing ep 1, go here). Specifically, to Burmese pythons Python molurus. And, quite right too. Snakes are among the weirdest and most phenomenally modified of tetrapods: in contrast to we boring tetrapodal tetrapods with our big limb girdles, long…