herpetology

Tetrapod Zoology

Category archives for herpetology

Geckos love Tet Zoo

If you didn’t know, I’ve been away. The last four articles that have appeared here were all scheduled to publish in my absence. I’ve been in Romania and Hungary where I had a great time – saw lots of neat animals (fossil and living) and hung out with some neat people. I’ll talk about some…

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…

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…

The Matamata is an incredible animal. A morphologically bizarre, highly cryptic, aquatic South American turtle, it’s equipped with a super-specialised wide, flattened skull and a host of peculiar features that allow it to engulf fish and other prey in deft acts of rapid suction. Surprisingly large (up to 1 m long), it has a very…

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…

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…

I’ve been ill, and pressing deadlines for book chapters and other projects have kept me busy. An inability to post stuff on Tet Zoo always frustrates me, as there’s just so much Tet Zoo-relevant stuff to get through. And, on that note: I must have said on many occasions that there are whole tetrapod groups,…