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Posts Tagged "pterosaurs"

Symbiartic

Are You A Mammal? Standardized Test

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Hannah Bonner is an illustrator who is creating an empire of informative, entertaining kids’ books about paleontology. They remind me of The Magic School Bus series by Joanna Cole: real science conveyed with a wacky sense of humor. Take, for example, Bonner’s “Are You A Mammal?” standardized test. It opens with the following instructions: Instructions: [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Announcements from the TetZoo-sphere

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This isn’t a normal scheduled blog post; instead, it concerns some announcements. Firstly, TetZooCon – the first ever Tetrapod Zoology Convention – is go. It will be held at the London Wetland Centre (UK) on Saturday 12th July and you can now book for attendance. Our schedule is pretty much sorted: we have a series on [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Happy 8th birthday Tetrapod Zoology: 2013 in review

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It’s January 21st, meaning that, once again, a year has passed and that much-loved internet phenomenon known at Tetrapod Zoology is fully one year older. Eight years of Tet Zoo… it seems incredible that I’ve been doing this for nearly a decade now. In fact, that’s scary. As is tradition, my aim here is simply [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Mark Witton’s Pterosaurs: beautiful, lavish, scholarly and comprehensive

Front cover of Witton (2013): an antlered nyctosaurid at sunset.

I assume you’re here for the Tetrapod Zoology. If so, you’ll have been excited and intrigued by one of 2013’s best tetrapod-themed books: Mark Witton’s Pterosaurs, an enormous, lavishly illustrated encyclopedia of all things pterosaur. Scholarly but highly readable, fully referenced throughout, and featuring hundreds of excellent photos, diagrams and beautiful, colour life restorations, this [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Were azhdarchid pterosaurs really terrestrial stalkers? The evidence says yes, yes they (probably) were

Despite what you may have heard, the Mesozoic was not like this, all the time. Image by Mark Witton.

Regular Tet Zoo readers will be familiar with azhdarchid pterosaurs and the debate that’s surrounded their ecology and behaviour. Within recent decades, these remarkable, often gigantic, long-necked, long-billed but proportionally short-winged toothless Cretaceous pterosaurs have been imagined as ‘mega-skimmers’, as heron-like waders, as obligate scavengers of dinosaur carcasses, and even as sandpiper-like littoral foragers. All [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

A tongue-wrestling interlude, from the azhdarchids

Tongue-wrestling Quetzalcoatlus pair, by Bob Nicholls, used with permission.

I’d like to talk to you about the recently announced ‘Yeti DNA’ discovery just featured on British television; I’d like to talk to you about tail feathers in Cretaceous maniraptoran dinosaurs (O’Connor et al. 2013), about the weird new Miocene pseudo-otter Teruelictis (Salesa et al. 2013), about the spectacular new leaf-tailed gecko Saltuarius eximius (Hoskin [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Quetzalcoatlus: the evil, pin-headed, toothy nightmare monster that wants to eat your soul

Giovanni Caselli's 1975 Demon Quetz, the image that started the meme.

Regular readers of Tet Zoo will be familiar with two topics I’ve covered on and off over the years: azhdarchid pterosaurs, and palaeoart memes. Azhdarchids were mostly large to gigantic, long-skulled Cretaceous pterosaurs, noted for their enormous wingspans (up to 10 m or so in the case of Quetzalcoatlus from the USA and Hatzegopteryx from [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Tet Zoo Bookshelf: van Grouw’s Unfeathered Bird, Bodio’s Eternity of Eagles, Witton’s Pterosaurs, Van Duzer’s Sea Monsters on Medieval and Renaissance Maps!

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I feel guilty about the fact that I haven’t been able to keep up with book reviews lately. It typically takes me – literally – months to years to read a book and then write a substantive review, and pressures of work, domestic life, research and other commitments make it very hard to find the [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

In Rio for the 2013 International Symposium on Pterosaurs

I love academic conferences, I love pterosaurs, and I love South America. So, as predicted, I very much enjoyed the International Symposium on Pterosaurs I just attended: it was the sixth symposium devoted specifically to pterosaurs, and was held at the Museu Nacional/UFRJ (= Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro), Rio de Janeiro. Yes, an [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Daisy’s Isle of Wight Dragon and why China has what Europe does not

We’ve named another new pterosaur! Once again, the open-access online journal PLOS ONE hosts a paper that I and colleagues (Martin Simpson and Gareth Dyke, both of the University of Southampton) have published on a new taxon (Naish et al. 2013). This is the third paper I’ve published in PLOS ONE so far this year, and [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

A new azhdarchid pterosaur: the view from Europe becomes ever more interesting

Another day, another new paper out in PLOS ONE. Today sees the publication of the new azhdarchid pterosaur Eurazhdarcho langendorfensis Vremir et al., 2013, a new species from the Upper Cretaceous Sebeş Formation of the Transylvanian Basin in Romania (Vremir et al. 2013). ‘Vremir’ is my good friend Mátyás Vremir; he worked together with Alex [...]

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