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 saw the release of a large, visually spectacular, beautifully produced volume devoted entirely to palaeoart...
Of the world’s 5700-odd living species of mammal, more than 1200 are bats, making them the most speciose mammalian group after rodents (of which there are about 2200 species).
Regular readers of Tet Zoo - especially those who have been following things since ver 1 of 2006 - will recognise hypothetical ‘smart dinosaurs’ as a sort of Tet Zoo meme that have been visited again, again, and again.Much has happened since things started in 2006, and in fact I’ve since published a popular article on the subject (Naish 2008), as has Jeff Hecht (Hecht 2007)...
You’ve heard of plesiosaurs (and probably the short-necked plesiosaurs known vernacularly as pliosaurs). But unless you’re a palaeontologist or zoology uber-nerd, you might well not have heard of placodonts, pachypleurosaurs, nothosauroids and pistosaurids – the other lineages that, together with plesiosaurs, form Sauropterygia, a major clade of Mesozoic marine reptiles...
What the hell, something else from the archives. So much for plans to publish new stuff (such as the long-awaited take on the recent Dinosaur Art event, and on the book).
When unable to produce anything new, I resort to the extensive Tet Zoo archives. Here’s an article from ver 2, first published in April 2009...Cattle are another of those groups of animals that are really pretty incredible once you take the time to look at, and think about, them...
The Mesozoic was not a ‘dinosaurs-only theme park’. Numerous other tetrapod lineages were around as well, and there was enough ‘ecospace’ for members of at least some of these groups to evolve giant size and macropredatory lifestyles, and even to dominate certain sections of the Mesozoic world.It’s well known in particular that this was true of the Mesozoic seas...
Some time back I started a series on the remarkable tubenosed seabirds known as the petrels (see below for links). Previous articles introduced the group as a whole before discussing one of the four major petrel clades, the gadfly-petrels or pterodromines...
Here’s a slightly modified version of a Tet Zoo classic (from ver 2, first published March 2008)...Molecular, morphological and behavioural data convincingly demonstrates that birds are deeply nested within the amniote clade that also includes crocodilians, squamates and turtles – the clade most typically termed Reptilia...
In pursuit of Early Cretaceous crocodyliforms in southern England (part II): of Vectisuchus and Leiokarinosuchus, Bernissartia and the hylaeochampsids
In the previous article we looked at Wealden goniopholidids, focusing in particular on the new taxa named by Steve Salisbury and myself in the review of Wealden crocodyliforms we published last year (Salisbury & Naish 2011)...
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