ADVERTISEMENT
  About the SA Blog Network
Tetrapod Zoology

Tetrapod Zoology


Amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals - living and extinct
Tetrapod Zoology HomeAboutContact
  • Profile

    Darren Naish 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! Follow on Twitter @TetZoo.
  • Blogroll

  • Cetacean Heresies: How the Chromatic Truthometer Busts the Monochromatic Paradigm

    If you can't see the True colours of Science, you're an ordinary dullard and you should go away. True appearance of the Humpback. Rendition by Darren Naish and Gareth Monger.

    Check any mainstream book on the whales, dolphins and porpoises of the world and you’ll see these creatures depicted in tedious monochrome; as eternally decked out in blacks and greys. It’s a stale, boring, bland view of these remarkable creatures, and as a young student, flicking through the cetological books in the library, I would [...]

    Keep reading »

    A Fine First Finding of Darevskia

    Here's the refresher for squamate head scalation you were looking for. This image (depicting a lacertid) is from Arnold (1989). In case it isn't obvious, you need to obtain and read Nick Arnold's papers if you're really interested in lacertid diversity and evolution.

    While in Romania back in 2011, I photographed the lizard you see here. It’s clearly a lacertid: a member of the Eurasian-African group that contains the familiar Lacerta sand lizards and green lizards as well as many other groups. But, beyond that, I couldn’t identify it in the field. Back at Tet Zoo Towers, and [...]

    Keep reading »

    You Never Hear Much About Shrew-Opossums

    Caenolestes fuliginosus, image by Joseph Wolf, in the public domain.

    You never really hear much about shrew-opossums or rat-opossums, the small group of living, South American marsupials properly called caenolestids or caenolestoids. Small (c 20-30 cm long in total), long-tailed, mostly dark brown, and predominantly faunivorous and nocturnal, they inhabit the grasslands and forests of the western side of the Andes. They’re said to be [...]

    Keep reading »

    The Huia and the Sexually Dimorphic Bill

    Heads of male (above) and female Huia in old bird anatomy display at London's Natural History Museum. Photo by Darren Naish.

    It’s time for one of those classic ‘from the archives’ type articles. This one was originally published in July 2008 at Tet Zoo ver 2. Apart from tiny editorial tweaks, it hasn’t been updated. Anyway… The original title for this article was going to be “Sorry Heteralocha, but you ain’t that special”. I ended up [...]

    Keep reading »

    Curious Complex Contentious Coots

    A pugnacious, highly aquatic, lobe-toed rallid grazing on grass in close proximity to humans? What form of devilry is this? COOTS.

    One of the birds I see most regularly here in southern England is the Eurasian coot Fulica atra. This is another of those oh-so-familiar animals that we see so often that we normally pay it little attention. Stop and look properly, and you’ll discover something pretty incredible. While at Kew Gardens recently I took a [...]

    Keep reading »

    The Atomic Worm-Lizard and Other Aprasia Flapfoots

    Flinders worm-lizard (Aprasia pseudopulchella). Note the strong superficial resemblance to a typhlopid blindsnake.

    I’m feeling the urge to blog about lizards. So, today I’d like to talk about the Aprasia species, a group of short-tailed, near-limbless gekkotans that belong to the Australian Pygopodidae family, the so-called flapfoots, flap-footed lizards or pygopods. Historically, the term Pygopodidae has been used in more than one fashion. For the purposes of removing [...]

    Keep reading »

    New Books on Dinosaurs 2: Dean Lomax and Nobumichi Tamura’s Dinosaurs of the British Isles

    Front cover of Lomax & Tamura (2014). Life reconstruction of Eustreptospondylus, with skeletal reconstruction of Cetiosaurus, and bones of Iguanodon, Megalosaurus and Mantellisaurus.

    Following on from February’s review of Matthew P. Martyniuk’s Beasts of Antiquity: Stem-Birds in the Solnhofen Limestone, it’s time once again to look at another recently published dinosaur-themed book. Anyone who knows anything about Mesozoic dinosaurs will know that the British Isles – England specifically – has a special role in the history of our [...]

    Keep reading »

    Meet the Scaly-Tail Gliders

    Lesser anomalure (Anomalurus pusillus), a small member of the group (c 45 cm long in total) from equatorial Africa. Painting by Joseph Smit, in public domain.

    Among the weirdest and most fascinating of rodents are the scalytails/scaly-tails, scaly-tailed squirrels or anomalures, properly termed Anomaluridae. For those of you that don’t know, this is a small group of exclusively* African, mostly gliding herbivores that have a weird method of supporting their gliding membranes. Only three or four extant anomalure genera are recognised. Idiurus [...]

    Keep reading »

    The Tet Zoo Guide to Gazelle Camels

    Life-sized stenomyline camel models at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, photographed c. 1999. Image by Darren Naish.

    Some of you will know that I’m putting together a giant textbook on the vertebrate fossil record… and, oh god, it isn’t easy. If you want sneak-peeks on how things are going, please consider supporting me at my patreon page. And if you’re wondering what the book might be like when it’s finished, here’s an [...]

    Keep reading »

    Spots, Stripes and Spreading Hooves in the Horses of the Ice Age

    Life appearance of Pleistocene horses of at least some populations of western Europe: reconstructed based predominanlty on Ekain horses from Spain. Image by Darren Naish.

    During the upper Palaeolithic (that is, between 40,000 and 10,000 years ago), prehistoric people in Europe and Asia (and elsewhere) depicted the animals they saw in thousands of piece of cave art. They drew, sculpted and painted rhinos, mammoths, giant deer and lions, but they also produced illustrations of less exotic beasts, like owls, mustelids [...]

    Keep reading »

    Search this blog:


    • Year:
    • Month:
    • Keyword:

    More from Scientific American

    Email this Article

    X