Tetrapod Zoology

Darren Naish

One of the strangest Mesozoic dinosaurs ever described has to be the African iguanodontian Lurdusaurus arenatus, named in 1999 for remains from the Lower Cretaceous Elrhaz Formation of Gadoufaoua, Niger (Taquet & Russell 1999). The Elrhaz Formation has also yielded the sail-backed iguanodontian Ouranosaurus, the rebbachisaurid sauropod Nigersaurus, the theropods Kryptops, Suchomimus and Eocarcharia, and…

On July 12th 2011 a very interesting thing is happening – interesting, that is, if you’re interested in the academic evaluation of cryptozoological data. ZSL (the Zoological Society of London) is hosting the meeting ‘Cryptozoology: science or pseudoscience?’. Speakers are Charles Paxton, Michael Woodley and myself. Henry Gee is acting as chair.

In the previous article I provided brief reviews of all currently recognised pygopodid ‘genera’*. Except one. I’ve left this one until last, largely because it’s the most spectacular (up to 75 cm in total length) and (arguably) most fascinating pygopodid. We’ve seen throughout this series of articles that pygopodids are convergent with certain snake groups,…

I really want to get these pygopodid articles finished. Actually, I really want to get the whole gekkotan series finished: the end is in sight and I know I’ll get there eventually. In the previous articles on pygopodids (part of the long-running series on gekkotan lizards: see links below), we looked at pygopodid diversity and…

The previous article – part of my now lengthy series on gekkotan squamates (see links below) – provided an introduction to the neat and fascinating near-limbless Australasian gekkotans known as the pygopodids. Disclaimer: the group being discussed here is ‘Pygopodidae of tradition’, not Pygopodidae as currently formulated. More on this matter later. One topic that…

One of my shortish-term goals at Tet Zoo has been to complete the series on gekkotan lizards I started in April 2010 (see below for links to previous parts). We continue with that series here, and this time round we’re going to look at what should definitely be regarded as the weirdest of gekkotans: the…

Once again I’m in that frustrating position so beloved of bloggers: where life and work just doesn’t let you fritter away all those ‘spare’ hours preparing lengthy blog articles. In the mean time, here’s one of those ‘mystery pictures’ to identify. What is it? Genus will do (I know the species, but that’s because I…

On May 24th 2011, photographer Mark Harrison took a few photos of the large marine creature he saw off the Wirral Peninsula, near Liverpool (UK). Harrison initially thought that the animal might be a seal, but then decided to put the photos online as a sort of joke. Several newspapers then ran the photos as…

Cambodia: now with dibamids!

Dibamids are a weird and very neat group of fossorial, near-limbless squamates that I’ve long planned to cover at Tet Zoo. Little is known about them and how they might relate to other squamates has long been the subject of debate (they might be close to amphisbaenians, but links with gekkotans, skinks and snakes have…

Squamozoic sneak-peek # 2

When unable to find time to do anything else, resort to posting Squamozoic sneak-peeks (previous example here)… This scene – ‘Riverbank ambush’ – features a giant macro-predatory amphisbaenian and some surprised gekkotans. Colouring by Tim Morris. Feel free to discuss among yourself. Kinda busy right now…