conservation

Tetrapod Zoology

Category archives for conservation

The interconnectedness of ecosystems and their components is, today, a familiar concept. Top predators eat herbivores, herbivores eat plants, and top predators keep so-called meso-predators in check too. But perhaps it isn’t appreciated enough just how interconnected things can be. Cristina Eisenberg’s excellent 2010 book The Wolf’s Tooth: Keystone Predators, Trophic Cascades and Biodiversity draws…

Over the course of the previous 19 – yes, 19 – articles we’ve looked at the full diversity of vesper bat species (see links below if there are any parts you’ve missed). If you’ve been following the series on an article-by-article basis, you’ll hopefully now have a reasonable handle on the morphological, behavioural and ecological…

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…

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 Bühler; thanks) – here’s a substantially augmented chunk of text that originally appeared here…

Episode 2 of series 2 of Inside Nature’s Giants was devoted to pythons (for an article reviewing ep 1, go here). Specifically, to Burmese pythons Python molurus. And, quite right too. Snakes are among the weirdest and most phenomenally modified of tetrapods: in contrast to we boring tetrapodal tetrapods with our big limb girdles, long…

More thoughts on the ZSL meeting ‘The Secret World of Naked Snakes’, held on Monday 7th December. In the previous article I discussed Mark Wilkinson and David Gower’s presentations [for relevance of pic used above, read on]. Alexander Kupfer was up next, and provided an excellent overview of reproductive diversity, viviparity and parental care in…

On Monday 7th December the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) hosted the one-off event ‘The Secret World of Naked Snakes’ (part of the ZSL’s ‘communicating science’ series): a whole meeting devoted entirely to those bizarre, poorly known, limbless, worm-like amphibians, the caecilians. The meeting was attended by over 100 people, which really isn’t bad going,…

As a Tet Zoo regular you’ll know and love the remarkable limbless amphibians known as caecilians. In case you don’t know, caecilians have sensory tentacles, sometimes have protrusible eyes, sometimes lack eyes entirely, often exhibit sophisticated parental care [maternal skin-feeding is going on in the middle image above], are incredibly long-bodied yet often lack tails,…

One of the most famous of ‘missing’ birds is the elusive Night parrot, an obscure nocturnal species discovered by John McDouall Stuart in 1845 (though not named until 1861). Small, reluctant to fly, highly nomadic and cryptically coloured, it’s never been well known and even now there are only 23 or so specimens in collections.…

If you follow the comments here at Tet Zoo you’ll already have seen the thread that’s been developing on the ‘Giant killers: macropredation in lions’ article (originally posted back in February, and itself a re-post of a ver 1 article from November 2006). If you don’t follow the comments, the following will be new to…