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Tetrapod Zoology

World Tapir Day, 2015

Just some of the many toy Malayan tapirs I own. The models at the top are old Britiains models. The knitted tapir below is by the wonderful Sasha Kopf, aka or Tapir Girl.

I’ve just learnt (thanks, Marko Bosscher) that today (April 27th) is World Tapir Day, an annual event in which the world unites in celebration of our plucky, trunk-nosed perissodactyl pals and in which we aim to enhance awareness of tapir conservation through the raising of funds and sale of tapir-themed merchandise. Check out the World [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

The Turcana and Other Valachians

A Turkana sheep encountered in the field at Pui, Transylvania. This sheep is not three-legged - it's just a quirk of composition. Photo by Darren Naish.

I’m about as interested in domestic animals as I am in non-domesticated ones. Sheep of various kinds have been discussed on Tet Zoo a few times, and right now I want to say a few brief things about a breed I recently saw on several occasions in Romania – the Turcana or Tsurcana, a highly [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

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 [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Confrontational behaviour and bipedality in deer

Harangued moose turns to face human aggressors and make them regret their pursuit. Photo by Janis Powell.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: one of the most familiar and frequently encountered of mammal groups (at least, to those of us in Eurasia and parts of the Americas) – DEER – are weird and fascinating when you get to know them. The whole antler thing is bizarre, but the behavioural [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

South America’s very many remarkable deer

Fine specimen of South Andean huemul. Photo by Ricardo Hevia Kaluf, CC BY-SA 3.0.

Deer are strongly associated with Eurasia and North America and less so with the other regions of the world. In this brief article – part of which is an excerpt from my 2013 article on the conservation status of South American mammals (Naish 2013) – I’m going to say a few things about the deer [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Choeropotamids — better known than you thought, perhaps

Anthracobundon model by xxx; image by DagdaMor, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.

Let’s face it, there’s an extraordinary number of fairly obscure Paleogene artiodactyl groups that are only familiar if you’re a specialist. I’ve recently had the enjoyable task of writing about all of them for a major in-progress book project (details to come), and today I’d thought I’d share text on one – just one – [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Duikers once more

Common duiker in profile; image in public domain.

Time for another classic from the archives. This article originally appeared on Tet Zoo ver 2 back in August 2008 (my god… about six years ago), and appears here in tweaked, updated form. Duikers or cephalophines are an entirely African group of bovids, and so far as we know they have never gotten out of [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Pronghorn, designed by committee

Neat diagram from one of the Orbis World of Wildlife volumes, written by Felix Rodriguez de la Fuente.

So much for posting more on ratites – alas, I just haven’t had time to finish the next article. Inspired by an article recently published by my friend and homeboy Brian Switek, I thought it time to republish this 2010 article. Enjoy. The Pronghorn or Pronghorn antelope* Antilocapra americana is a strikingly unique artiodactyl, endemic to [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

The remarkable life appearance of the Woolly rhino

Cast of the famous Starunia Woolly rhino, on display at London's Natural History Museum. Photo by Darren Naish, CC BY.

One of the Pleistocene mammals depicted without fail in popular books – encyclopedias of prehistoric life and the like – is the Woolly rhinoceros Coelodonta antiquitatis (the species name is written antiquus in many sources). Originally named in 1807 (but known for some time prior), this cold-adapted, shaggy-coated rhinocerotid rhino occurred from the Atlantic fringes [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Fantastic asses

Kiang male (left) and female at Edinburgh Zoo, photo by Darren Naish.

Come on, this is Tetrapod Zoology: you knew those asses would be of the equid kind, right? I don’t think there’s been much on Tet Zoo about equids yet, nor about perissodactyls at all (a crime, given my strong interest in fossil rhinos). See the links below, however. I’ve taken various wild ass photos at [...]

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