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Posts Tagged "palaeomammalogy"

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

Homage to The Velvet Claw, again

The Velvet Claw, the book. You should own it.

At long last, somebody has uploaded (at least some of) The Velvet Claw to youtube. What’s The Velvet Claw, I hear you ask? Well, actually, I probably don’t hear you ask, seeing as you probably know already. Indeed, if you’re a long-term Tet Zoo reader, you’ll have heard me talk about it before. And here [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Odobenocetops: ridiculous ‘walrus whales’

Odobenocetops-slide-2-600-px-tiny-Nov-2012-Tet-Zoo

I always hoped that, one day, I’d have time to talk at length about Odobenocetops, one of the strangest and most exciting of fossil cetaceans. Alas, I haven’t yet found that time, so here are a few slides on the beast from one of my fossil marine mammal lectures. Odobenocetops was originally described by Muizon [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Phenacodontidae, I feel like I know you

Charles Knight's 1898 reconstruction of Phenacodus. The flora perhaps looks a bit too modern. Image in public domain.

One day in the not-too-distant future there will be a Tet Zoo Guide to Paleogene Mammals. I’m not kidding – it really will happen one day… hey, I’ve only been promising it since 2007 or so. Until then, here’s a very short excerpt from that project (YES, it does exist,  as does tons and tons [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

A brief history of sengis, or elephant shrews

Reconstructed skull of the Early Miocene myohyracine Myohyrax oswaldi (after Patterson 1965).

Macroscelideans – the elephant shrews or sengis – are an exclusively African group of animalivorous placental mammals, famous for their long, mobile snouts [adjacent image of a rhynchocyonine sengi by Joey Makalintal]. They have long tails, proportionally elongate limbs, and range in size from 10 to 30 cm, and from 50g to over 500g. Digital [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Mysteries of the diceratheriine rhinos

This amazing fossil represents the diceratheriine rhino Subhyracodon occidentalis from the Late Eocene and Early and Middle Oligocene of the USA. Subhyracodon seems to have been ancestral to the better known Diceratherium*, a very long-lived diceratheriine that appeared in the Early Oligocene and persisted into the Middle Miocene. Diceratherium is well known for being one of [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

The Great Dinosaur Art Event of 2012

People have always wanted to know what extinct animals might have looked like when alive. Combine the science of anatomical and palaeoenvironmental reconstruction with the liberal amount of speculation involved in the imagining of animal soft tissues, behaviour and lifestyle, and you have the vibrant and ever popular field known as palaeoart (or paleoart). September [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Obscure fossil mammals of island South America: Thomashuxleya and the other isotemnids

I’ve often (or sometimes) said that there are – still, even after more than six years of operation – whole groups of tetrapods where I’ve barely scratched the surface, if that. The recent revisiting of borhyaenoids reminded me how much I love South American Cenozoic megafauna, and how frustrating it is that data on these [...]

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