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Tetrapod Zoology

Tetrapod Zoology

Amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals - living and extinct

  • Surprises From Placental Mammal Phylogeny 2: Skunks Are Not Weasels

    By Darren Naish | July 25, 2015 |

    Time for another article on placental mammal phylogeny, again focusing on results that are still not tremendously well known outside the zoological community (for previous articles go here for a general introduction to placental phylogeny , and here for thoughts on the position of pangolins ). […]

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  • Surprises from Placental Mammal Phylogeny 1: Pangolins Are Close Kin of Carnivorans

    By Darren Naish | July 21, 2015 |

    Illustration of an African Giant pangolin Smutsia gigantea , by John Wolf. Image in public domain. Further to the previous article on placental mammal phylogeny , I now want to start looking at a few specific details of the tree – details that are somewhat surprising in view of traditional ideas about the groups concerned. […]

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  • The Refined, Fine-Tuned Placental Mammal Family Tree

    By Darren Naish | July 14, 2015 |

    The 'Novacek tree' - an influential view of placental phylogeny from 1992. Our understanding of phylogeny – the shape of the tree of life – is constantly evolving, and it’ll continue to evolve so for as long as new data keeps coming in and so long as we continue to generate hypotheses based on this data. […]

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  • Goannas Dig the Deepest, Twistiest Burrows of All

    By Darren Naish | July 6, 2015 |

    A female Yellow-spotted monitor  Varanus panoptes  excavates what appears to be a shallow, decoy nest burrow after completing work at the spiralling burrow near her tail. Image courtesy of Colin McHenry, used with permission. Regular readers might remember the various coverage that monitor lizards, or varanids, have had here over recent months (see the list of links below). […]

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  • Voyeurism and Feral Pigeons

    By Darren Naish | June 29, 2015 |

    I'm a big fan of pigeons. They do lots of interesting things, they look neat, they're pretty 'extreme' when it comes to various of their abilties, and they're accessible and easy to watch. Comparatively few of us get to watch long sequences of behaviour in wild birds, but pigeons - here I'm talking about the feral/domestic form of the Rock dove or Rock pigeon Columba livia - provide those of us interested in birds with excellent views of... […]

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  • The Romanian Dinosaur Balaur Seems to Be a Flightless Bird

    By Darren Naish | June 20, 2015 |

    A Balaur bondoc pair in their forested Romanian home, 67 or so million years ago. Artwork by Emily Willoughby . Read on for more about this image. Paravian theropods are all the rage right now, and not just because of the phylotarded, retrofitted ones that appear in a certain blockbuster movie. […]

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  • The Climbing, Flying Babies of Deinonychus

    By Darren Naish | June 15, 2015 |

    Regular readers (as well as those who keep up to speed on Mesozoic dinosaur literature) will be familiar with the assorted to-ings and fro-ings that have concerned the debate over tree-climbing in non-bird theropods. A popular idea among dinosaur specialists is that non-bird theropods were ground-bound animals that didn’t climb at all. […]

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  • Jurassic World and the Build a Better Fake Theropod Project

    By Darren Naish | June 12, 2015 |

    Indominus rex , imaginary genetic chimaera and star of the movie Jurassic World . A little movie called Jurassic World has just hit cinemas, you might have heard of it. I've seen it, and - while I'm not about to discuss it at length - I mostly found it dumb, with ugly, old school CG animals that can't be considered an improvement on the animals originally outed for 1993's Jurassic Park . […]

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  • New Books on Dinosaurs 3: Bakker and Rey's The Big Golden Book of Dinosaurs

    By Darren Naish | June 8, 2015 |

    Front cover of Bakker (2013). Continuing with my series of articles on recently-ish published dinosaur-themed books (see links below for the other articles), let’s look at Robert Bakker’s The Big Golden Book of Dinosaurs , published in 2013 ( Bakker 2013 ). […]

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  • Turtles I Have Recently Seen

    By Darren Naish | June 3, 2015 |

    TURTLES! A section of the montage that's being prepared for the Tet Zoo Big Book (larger version viewable at my patreon ). Image in-prep, by Darren Naish. Every now and again – I would guess once every four months or so – I experience Turtle Guilt... […]

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