Tetrapod Zoology

Archives for December, 2010

Among the most iconic and remarkable of dinosaurs are the stegosaurs, a mostly Jurassic group of thyreophorans famous for the rows of spikes and plates that decorated their necks, backs and tails [somewhat inaccurate Stegosaurus stenops shown below. I did it many years ago]. As I’m fond of saying, the stegosaur we know best –…

Happy Christmas

Am shutting up shop for Christmas – see you on the other side!

Lal the chicken-eating cow

People often send me links to stories of the Indian cow that took to eating baby chickens. The story isn’t at all new: it appeared in the press in March 2007, and at least one of the cow’s lapses into carnivory was filmed. It’s shown here (though see below). As with the epic cat fight,…

The increasing availability of automatic cameras (cameras set up to take photos on their own are known in the trade as camera traps) has been a great boon to field biologists, and to people interested generally in the documentation of obscure and elusive creatures. Many animals hardly ever photographed in living state have been documented…

Dixonian future animals of Brussels

I’ve just spent a few days at the Institut royal des Sciences naturelles de Belgique in Brussels, for theropod-related reasons. A great museum, with tons of excellent material on display. I just want to briefly report one interesting discovery here: I was surprised and delighted to find that the recently opened Gallery of Evolution includes…

Using an eagle to catch and kill a wolf

No time for anything new (err, just a tad busy at the moment), so here’s something else from the Tet Zoo archives. This article originally appeared on ver 1 in April 2006 and appears here in slightly modified form. In previous articles we’ve looked at the ability of large eagles – the Golden eagle Aquila…

Why I hate Darwin’s beard

My recent brief mention of Thomas Huxley (in connection with the Dinosaurs and Other Extinct Saurians: A Historical Perspective volume) reminded me to look anew at this Tet Zoo ver 1 post from 2006… Here’s a little known fact. Charles Robert Darwin (1809-1882), the most important biologist of all time, did not spend his entire…

Back to the series on pouches, pockets and sacs (for previous articles see links below). The previous article finished by looking at the guttural pouches present in the Mongolian gazelle Procapra gutturosa. This links us nicely to the select group of mammals – perissodactyls, hyraxes, bats and rodents – that possess air-filled structures (called guttural…

Aww, look at that cute little face, those piggy little, opaque eyes, that wrinkled skin. I just know that you want a little refresher on giant salamanders, so – accompanied with new photos taken at the SMNK in Karlsruhe (by Markus B├╝hler; thanks) – here’s a substantially augmented chunk of text that originally appeared here…