Tetrapod Zoology

Archives for February, 2011

I have a great liking for cassowaries, and I’ve had good reason to write about them several times. I’ve also had fun playing with preserved specimens and skeletons – something I must elaborate on at some time. Back in 2006 – the days of Tet Zoo ver 1 – I blogged some of my cassowary-related…

Back in May 2007 I wrote a few articles about the world’s wild sheep (Welcome…. to the world of sheep and Return…. to the world of sheep). If you’re here for the dinosaurs, pterosaurs, pygmy mammoths and lake monster photos, you might regard wild sheep as pretty boring animals. But they’re clearly not – they’re…

It seems wrong not to talk, at least briefly, about the latest lake monster picture that’s doing the rounds. It’s a poor-quality mobile phone photo of a humped object, taken in England’s Lake Windermere by Tom Pickles while he was kayaking as part of a team-building exercise. Here it is… (or, rather, here is the…

Time to finish one of those long-running series of Tet Zoo articles: at last, the long-awaited, much anticipated third and final instalment in the series on the clubs, spurs, spikes and claws present on the hands of numerous neornithine bird species. If you haven’t done so already, do check out the previous parts here (on…

I love turkeys, and here I specifically mean the so-called Wild turkey Meleagris gallopavo and its domestic variants, not the Ocellated turkey M. ocellata (though – don’t get me wrong, Ocellated turkeys are great too). Herewith a brief look into the world of turkeys (part of it recycled from Tet Zoo ver 1)… involving a…

We know all too little about the biology and behaviour of the pterosaurs, the amazing, often bizarre flying reptiles of the Mesozoic Era. Most of our ideas – about feeding behaviour, locomotion, physiology and social and sexual behaviour – are inferences based on bones, or inferences based on interpretations of the bones. A new paper…

Brad Livezey, RIP 2011

I’ve just heard the tragic and saddening news that ornithologist Bradley Livezey died yesterday morning (Tuesday 8th February, 2011) following a car crash. It seems that his car lost traction due to snow and ice on the road surface and then collided with another vehicle. Brad was 56. I never met him, but regarded him…

Borrowed from here on David’s Really Interesting Pages (and used with permission: thanks David). A sort of homage to this article from last month.

In terms of its zoological diversity, Europe is the best known continent on the planet. Indeed it’s generally assumed that just about all of Europe’s macrofauna has, by now, been discovered. While that’s mostly true, it seems that at least a few species – so called ‘cryptic species’ – have been missed, mostly because they’re…

One of my long-running plans on Tet Zoo has been to review passerine phylogeny. After decades of people saying that oscine passerines are (except larks and corvids) far too alike for anyone to construct a sensible phylogeny, a flurry of (mostly molecular) studies have meant that – as I like to say – the passerine…