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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

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

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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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Tetrapod Zoology

Old World monkeys of choice

Male Gelada, Howletts Animal Park. Don't call them 'gelada baboons', since they're not baboons. Photo by Darren Naish.

There have never been enough primates on Tet Zoo. That isn’t because I’m not interested in primates, nor because I don’t think about primates, or look at primates, that much… in fact, I probably think about, and look at, primates more than I do any other group of animals… it’s simply because – as is [...]

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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

Mystery big cat skulls from the Peruvian Amazon not so mysterious anymore

Skulls and accompanying life restorations of (A) the Peruvian 'Anomalous jaguar' and (B) 'Peruvian tiger'; image by Gustavo Sanchez.

Scientific projects are very often years in the making. Within the past few days, I’ve had a new paper appear in the open-access journal PeerJ. It’s co-written with Manabu Sakamoto, Peter Hocking and Gustavo Sanchez. Therein, we examine and, we think, resolve the previously vexing identity of two big cat skulls obtained in the Peruvian [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Reasons for really liking wildebeest

Brindled wildebeest, photographed at Kruger National Park by Chris Eason. Image licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

There are lots of reasons for liking wildebeest… or gnus. For me, the main one comes from the fact that they are insanely flamboyant in appearance. Check out all the stuff we have going on in the best known and most widespread of the two (read on) species, the Brindled or Blue wildebeest Connochaetes taurinus: [...]

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