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Tetrapod Zoology

Tetrapod Zoology

Amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals - living and extinct

Tet Zoo ver 3, (part of) the story so far

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A tetrapod montage that you might have seen before, by Mehmet Kosemen.

Tet Zoo ver 3 - the Sci Am incarnation of this august and influential institution - has now been going for about 10 months, and a moderately respectable 78 articles have appeared on the blog so far (excluding this one). The vast majority have been lengthy, referenced, heavily illustrated articles - no brief, picture-of-the-day-style contributions or lame rehashings of press releases, thank you very much, and also comparatively little in the way of short contributions in general.

One of the major negative points of the Sci Am blog format is that navigating to older article is not at all easy. In fact it seems about impossible since there's no date-arranged archive or useful list of categories in the sidebar or anything like that. I've suggested behind the scenes that a site-wide rehaul is needed, but no news yet. In fact, as many of you regular readers will know, there's a lot not to like about the Sci Am blog platform, not only with regard to the site's appearance and navigability, but also with respect to the commenting and login system. I don't want to start whining though.

Terrifying tree-kangaroo rendition, from Augusto Vigna Taglianti's 1979 book The World of Mammals (Sampson Low).

If you haven't been here from the start, what might you have missed? Well, quite a bit. Topics covered here since July 2011 include the neck posture of giant extinct Mediterranean rabbits, a (still incomplete) series of articles on east European frogs and toads, that notorious episode involving the Telegraph newspaper and the Loch Ness monster, sunbathing postures in birds, my write-up of the ZSL cryptozoology meeting (the filmed talks should be online some time soon, by the way), articles on peccary biting behaviour, entelodonts, roadkill, Neotropical jays, cattle, obscure domestic pig breeds, hummingbirds, the 'tree-kangaroos come first' hypothesis, vombatiform marsupials, and a fair bit about Mesozoic dinosaurs, pterosaurs and marine reptiles. The toads series is still chugging along slowly in the background (and, yeah yeah, petrels, temnospondyls etc. etc. too). Below please find a list of all articles that have been published here between July 2011 and the end of October 2011 (it takes so long to embed all the links that I ended up giving up on the idea of listing ALL the articles that have appeared here so far). If there's something you ever wanted to say on those articles but never did, now might be a good idea to get it seen (yet another major negative point on the Sci Am blog platform - we have no 'recent comments' section, so any comment added anew to an old article is missed by anyone not reading that article).

Mehmet Kosemen's tongue-in-cheek suggestion that crown-Archosauria should be renamed Awesomes, as encapsulated on a (pre-Nesbitt) simplified cladogram. Share with your friends. Designed to offend those who don't work on crown-archosaurs.

Many of the topics covered below will be revisited when time allows. There's a lot more to do on marsupials, for example... umm, oh yeah, and on just about everything else. A while back I happened to ask people on facebook what they wanted to see more of on Tet Zoo. Note to start with that this doesn't matter in any case - as I always say, I blog for me, so you get what I'm interested in. Anyway, the suggestions were all over the place. Predictably, some people said "less dinosaurs, less pterosaurs (since they get written about a great deal already), let's have more hoofed mammals, more rodents". But a larger number of people said "more dinosaurs, more pterosaurs". There were also requests for obscure Palaeozoic synapsids and such, and I can totally understand that. Anyway, I hope that the list below is useful for the purposes of navigation to some of the older stuff, if for nothing else. So, job done. Yikes, must get back to work.

UPDATE: courtesy of Marko 'Lev' Bossche, here are the others. So, this article now includes links to ALL Tet Zoo ver 3 articles. Excellent. Thanks loads, Marko (thanks to the other individuals who sent compiled lists as well, your kind help is much appreciated).

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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