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Tetrapod Zoology


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Teenage Mutant Ninja Temnospondyls


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You all enjoyed the many Platyhystrix images featured here the other day (interesting discussion still going on in the comments section on that article, check it out). Henrik Petersson, in particular, did us all proud with a TMNT-themed temnospondyl, perhaps the world’s first ever (and I used to play TMNT the RPG, so I’ve seen more than my fair share of TMNT in-universe mutant animals). One thing led to another, and Henrik couldn’t help himself but go all the way with this experiment. World, I give you…

Joining Raphael the Platyhystrix, we have Michelangelo the Prionosuchus and Donatello the Siderops. Leading the lean green fighting team is Leonardo, who, of course, is a Capetus. In world where the second ‘T’ in TMNT stands for temnospondyl, new questions are raised. Who is the TMNT mentor (surely he can’t be a rat?), who is the primary villain of the TMNTemno world, and does April wear an orange jumpsuit instead of a yellow one? Can’t talk, running to t-shirt manufacturer…

The world thanks you, Henrik, for this amazing gift. For previous Tet Zoo articles on temnospondyls (covering such taxa as Capetus, the dissorophoid Platyhystrix, and the archegosauroid Prionosuchus), see…

Darren Naish About the Author: Darren Naish is a science writer, technical editor and palaeozoologist (affiliated with the University of Southampton, UK). He mostly works on Cretaceous dinosaurs and pterosaurs but has an avid interest in all things tetrapod. His publications can be downloaded at darrennaish.wordpress.com. He has been blogging at Tetrapod Zoology since 2006. Check out the Tet Zoo podcast at tetzoo.com!

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Follow on Twitter @TetZoo.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.





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  1. 1. Finback 6:18 am 09/24/2013

    Oh man, I had almost all the TMNT:RPG books. Still do, somewhere..

    Link to this
  2. 2. AndreaCau 7:52 am 09/24/2013

    The mentor is a Thrinaxodon.

    Link to this
  3. 3. CS Shelton 7:55 am 09/24/2013

    OMG, the BIO-E system was flawed as heck. I did not like it. Strangely, I think D&D 3E was better for humanoid animals (see Savage Species). Then use Oriental Adventures to make ‘em ninjas!

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  4. 4. David Marjanović 10:20 am 09/24/2013

    does April wear an orange jumpsuit instead of a yellow one?

    Please explain.

    The mentor is a Thrinaxodon.

    Thread won.

    Link to this
  5. 5. Hai~Ren 10:36 am 09/24/2013

    Rocksteady and Bebop: One’s an Estemmenosuchus, the other’s a Moschops?

    Link to this
  6. 6. Halbred 4:22 pm 09/24/2013

    I also had at least one TMNT RPG book when I was much younger, more for the art than the game itself. I didn’t get into D&D-type games until later in life.

    We’re gonna need to see Estemmenosuchus and Moschops as Rocksteady & Bebop, no doubt.

    Link to this
  7. 7. Gigantala 5:39 pm 09/24/2013

    Fun fact: April’s iconic yellow outfit was the animated serie’s invention.

    Link to this
  8. 8. Halbred 1:31 pm 09/25/2013

    Most of the animated series’ April was an invention: the iconic yellow jumpsuit, her career choice, constantly being kidnapped by Shredder, etc.

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  9. 9. Yodelling Cyclist 6:32 pm 09/25/2013

    Most of the animated series’ April was an invention: the iconic yellow jumpsuit, her career choice, constantly being kidnapped by Shredder, etc.

    I hate to say this, but I feel someone should: April herself was, in fact, an invention. It is all, ultimately, fairly trivial fiction.

    Runs away terribly fast

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  10. 10. Halbred 6:59 pm 09/25/2013

    Of course, you realize this means war.

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  11. 11. Gigantala 9:18 pm 09/25/2013

    “Most of the animated series’ April was an invention: the iconic yellow jumpsuit, her career choice, constantly being kidnapped by Shredder, etc.”

    Indeed. It’s amazing how what began as a simple assitant of a very minor character is now probably more iconic than the turtles themselves.

    Link to this
  12. 12. Dartian 1:47 am 09/26/2013

    Never really got into the TMNT; I’ve seen the original movie but literally the only scene that I can remember of it now is the pizza delivery guy slipping the pizza through the sewer grate…

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  13. 13. naishd 3:50 am 09/26/2013

    I knew TMNT from the RPG and the comics/graphic novels before that kid’s TV series was around so, yeah, I know that jumpsuited April and so much other stuff was created for the TV series. Alas, my brother sold the graphic novels I owned without me knowing, so they’re gone. I remember one about time travel, where the turtles meet some humanoid Triceratops-type animals (there might be a gladiatorial content at one point) and another about a magician’s apprentice kind of person who wears a blue costume covered in watches, has a big hat and other memorable features.

    Darren

    Link to this
  14. 14. Yodelling Cyclist 8:28 am 09/26/2013

    It’s amazing how what began as a simple assistant of a very minor character is now probably more iconic than the turtles themselves.

    I suspect that the pronounced sexually selected characteristics of Ms. O’Neil has more than a little to do with this.

    Link to this
  15. 15. Halbred 1:40 pm 09/26/2013

    Darren, you’re remembering correctly. The Turtles travel to another planet via teleporter and are forced to fight Triceratons in a gladiator-type arena. And, yes, at another point they travel back in time with a buxom magician’s assistant where they meet Cerebrus the Aardvark and have a medieval adventure.

    Link to this
  16. 16. Yodelling Cyclist 2:14 pm 09/26/2013

    Next up: Darren will revisit the “Necks-for-memorable features” article discussing sauropod evolutionary pressures.

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  17. 17. Raptormimus456 8:33 am 09/27/2013

    You know what someone should totally do?

    Teenage Mutant Ninja Palaeontologists. :P

    Darren the mentor, Holtz the brawler, Conway the party animal and Koseman the techie.

    Make it happen, people. :D

    Link to this
  18. 18. naishd 8:41 am 09/27/2013

    Nice idea (perhaps)… but did you know that John and I were both recently portrayed as Finn and Jake from Adventure Time?

    Darren

    Link to this

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