Tetrapod Zoology

Archives for January, 2011

The shortest Tet Zoo blog post ever

Please identify. If possible, make it more interesting by saying something about the animal’s behaviour, ecology and/or phylogenetic position (believe me, there is plenty to say). As usual, a smug sense of self-satisfaction to the winner.

I really enjoyed the long and involved debate that followed my article on the small elephant depicted on the wall of Rekhmire’s tomb. Thank you to (just about) everyone who contributed. As I tried to make clear in the actual article, we’ll likely never know the truth of the matter, and this whole exercise should…

Welcome to part II of my musings on the 2010 blogging year. You’ll need to have read the first part to make sense of it. The article you’re reading now is extraordinarily long and I’d normally break up a piece of this length into two, three or even more separate articles. This year I want…

Today, my friends, is January 21st 2011. Do you know what this means? It means (drumroll)… that Tet Zoo is five years old today. Wow. Five years. With apologies to those who’ve heard the story before, things started in 2006 over at blogspot, and in 2007 Tet Zoo ver 2 kicked off here on ScienceBlogs.…

One of the things that came up in the many comments appended to the article on Bob’s painting of extinct Maltese animals was the famous Egyptian tomb painting of the ‘pygmy mammoth’. You’re likely already familiar with this (now well known) case: here’s the image, as it appears on the beautifully decorated tomb wall of…

The big buzz here in Hampshire (southern England) at the moment is the recent arrival of a White-tailed eagle Haliaeetus albicilla. This magnificent raptor – it can have a wingspan of 2.4 m and is one of the biggest eagles in the world – is historically extinct in England, but individuals still appear here on…

It’s well known that the islands of the Mediterranean were formerly home to an assortment of island endemics, all of which are now extinct. Most of the best known ones are mammals like pygmy elephants, pygmy hippos, pygmy megacerine deer and giant dormice, but there were also large birds, tortoises and lizards. My excellent friend…

I read a lot of books in 2010, and mostly enjoyed all of them. Among my favourites was Luis Chiappe’s Glorified Dinosaurs: The Origin and Early Evolution of Birds, and in the lengthy review article below (currently in press for Historical Biology) you can find what I thought of it. Note that Glorified Dinosaurs is…

Time to wrap up on the SJG special – make sure you see part I and part II first. Wow, I never thought I’d end up writing three long articles on this series of papers (hmm, a familiar theme). In the previous articles we looked at stegosaur systematics, and at Heinrich Mallison’s work on the…

If you read the previous article on stegosaurs you’ll know that a collection of papers devoted to examination of this fascinating group appeared last year (2010) in a special issue of Swiss Journal of Geosciences (SJG from hereon). These papers resulted from a meeting held at the Sauriermuseum Aathal, Switzerland, in June 2009 (Billon-Bruyat &…