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Posts Tagged "mammalogy"

Symbiartic

Now That’s a Wee Little Infographic

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  53 million years old, and it may be the smallest mammal that has ever lived. Batodonoides vanhouteni was a shrew-like mammal that scientific illustrator Jen Christiansen has deftly described in this illustration. In addition to being an illustrator, Christiansen is also Scientific American’s art editor of information graphics. Composing an illustration with only a few, [...]

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Symbiartic

I Want A Carl Buell Coffee Table Book

Carl_Buell_Mammoth_mini

A while back an illustrator I consider a friend and mentor sent me an amazing birthday gift: It’s a mammoth by Carl Buell. Buell, you’ll likely already know, is the greatest living painter of extinct mammalian fauna today. Because I’m a terrible indoor photographer, let’s look at it the way it was intended. I met [...]

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Symbiartic

Road Kill So Perty You Can Bring It Home To Ma

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Most people swerve around road kill in hopes of avoiding the gore, or worse, the dreaded thwump that indicates you added your treadmarks to the list of said road kill’s insults. But a few crazy people will screech to a halt to see what got hit. Two of these folks just happen to be researchers, [...]

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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

Cricetomyines: the African pouched rats and mice

Beautiful rendition of Cricetomys gambianus by Willems van der Merwe, used with permission.

Sometimes, I pick up Volume II of Walker’s Mammals of the World, go to page 1400 or 1500 or thereabouts and look at all the obscure Old World rats and mice. You might have done the same thing. If you have, you might have been left with the same general feeling as me: of being [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Conservation concern for South America’s remarkable endemic dogs

Bush dog pair; photo by Attis, CC BY-SA 3.0

Last year the Grzimek’s Animal Life Encyclopedia volume titled Extinct Life appeared in print. I was asked to cover South American mammals, perhaps because they wanted me to write about borhyaenoids, toxodonts, litopterns, astrapotheres and so on (some of which have been covered on Tet Zoo in the past – I really need to get back [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

A brief history of muskrats

Nice picture of muskrat eating. Photo by Linda Tanner, CC BY-SA 2.0.

Earlier in the year I made a promise that I’d get through more rodents here at Tet Zoo. Rodents, you see, divide people like no other group of tetrapods. Some hate them, others love them, and while they’ve classically been regarded as bread-and-butter staples of discussions about tetrapod evolution and diversity, others bemoan their sameyness [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

The 6-ton Blue whale model at London’s Natural History Museum

As close as you can get to the NHM Blue whale model. Such a thing of great beauty. Photo by Darren Naish.

A series of meetings meant that I found myself in London’s Natural History Museum yesterday, and with my friends and Tet Zoo supporters Dan and Felix Bridel (great t-shirt, Felix) I spent a while gawping at the always fascinating life-sized Blue whale Balaenoptera musculus model that hangs in the Mammal Hall. The Mammal Hall is infinitely [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Humans among the primates

A montage of modern primates. From left to right: human, tarsier, eastern gorilla, bonobo, orangutan, crested gibbon, capuchin, macaque, lemur. Image by Darren Naish.

It is not in the least bit controversial to picture humans* within the context of the placental mammal group that we belong to, the primates. Nor is it unusual for primatologists, anthropologists or biologists of other sorts to compare the anatomy, social or sexual behaviour, lifestyles or cognitive abilities of humans with those of other [...]

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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

Seals, the early years

stem-pinniped-slide-1-600-px-tiny-June-2014-Tetrapod-Zoology

It’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for… stem-pinnipeds at Tet Zoo. Or, probable stem-pinnipeds anyway. This minimum-effort post is brought to you on the back of work showing that pinnipeds (seals, sea lions and walruses) are monophyletic, not diphyletic, and that the taxa shown here – Potamotherium, Puijila and so on – really are [...]

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