Tetrapod Zoology

Archives for October, 2010

Mystery emo skinks of Tonga!

There are about 3800 lizard species living on the planet today; accordingly, it can sometimes be a bit difficult to keep track of them all. Furthermore, new species are described on a very regular basis, and there’s little doubt that many more species await discovery. Matty Smith (from New Zealand) recently encountered the lizard you…

I really must get this series on pouches, sacs and pockets finished. Last time, we looked at baleen whales (and then I got distracted by Caperea): in these animals, a large, inflatable laryngeal sac is used in producing loud, resonating noises (though roles in gas storage or the mechanics of exhalation have also been suggested).…

A meeting with Dr Joy Reidenberg

You know me, I’m not one to brag. But… One of several interesting things I did over the weekend was attend a special cinema screening (in Clapham, London) of the giant squid special episode of Inside Nature’s Giants. It was great, and the showing was followed by a Q&A session with David Dugan (ING writer/producer),…

Once more on little Caperea

Given that we’re all enjoying gawping at Caperea so much, I may as well finish up and use the rest of the photos that Joy Reidenberg kindly provided. First off, here’s the skull from the side. It’s really weird: that lower jaw shape is utterly unlike anything else present in baleen whales, being comparatively deep…

The recent discussion of Caperea‘s skeletal morphology (Caperea = Pygmy right whale) inspired Joy Reidenberg to send these photos of a Caperea skeleton, taken in New Zealand and used here with her permission. In this view of the whale’s thoracic region (we’re standing beneath the whale, looking up into its ribcage), you can see that…

Time to continue in the Tet Zoo series on laryngeal diverticula (and other pouches, pockets and sacs). This time, we look at baleen whales, or mysticetes. Like the primates we looked at previously, mysticetes have enlarged laryngeal ventricles* that (mostly) meet along the ventral midline of the throat and form a single large laryngeal pouch…

I’ve never used this picture before as I assume that most interested people have seen it. But, whatever…

You can never have too many shoebills

The recent, brief foray into Shoebill territory made now a sensible time to use a few other Shoebill-based images I have here in the Tet Zoo archives. That, and I haven’t been able to finish anything more substantive due to other commitments. We begin with a lateral view of a skull I once photographed –…

The ING giant squid special

Once again I’m going to do the advertising thing for those fantastic Inside Nature’s Giants people. Sorry that notice is so short, but I only received the relevant information today (Wednesday 13th October). Tomorrow sees the premiere screening (here in the UK, on Channel 4) of a 75 minute ING special on the giant squid.…

Welcome to the second part of the series on the various pouches, sacs and pockets present in the heads, necks and chests of mammals. Last time we looked at the laryngeal sacs of primates (and, should you encounter unfamiliar anatomical terms in the following text, be sure to check out that first article for an…