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Fabulous Crested Indian Wild Pigs

The Indian wild pig looks about ‘different enough’ from other wild pigs that it was originally (in 1839) described as a distinct species, but no more

December 10, 2015 — Darren Naish

African Climbing Mice and the Congo Link Rat

There’s an unusual group of African rodents that we rarely get to hear much about. Termed dendromurines, they’re named for Dendromus, the climbing mice, and mostly inhabit sub-Saharan Africa. 

October 22, 2015

Domestic Horses of Africa

I've said on several previous occasions that domestic animals are far from outside the Tet Zoo remit. On the contrary, I find them to be of great interest, and I think that their diversity, evolution and behaviour is something that we should pay attention to more often.

May 10, 2015 — Darren Naish

The Turcana and Other Valachians

I'm about as interested in domestic animals as I am in non-domesticated ones. Sheep of various kinds have been discussed on Tet Zoo a few times, and right now I want to say a few brief things about a breed I recently saw on several occasions in Romania - the Turcana or Tsurcana, a highly [...]

April 12, 2015 — Darren Naish
A brief history of muskrats

A brief history of muskrats

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.

September 5, 2014 — Darren Naish

The 6-ton Blue whale model at London’s Natural History Museum

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.

August 8, 2014 — Darren Naish
Confrontational behaviour and bipedality in deer

Confrontational behaviour and bipedality in deer

I've said it before and I'll say it again: one of the most familiar and frequently encountered of mammal groups (at least, to those of us in Eurasia and parts of the Americas) - DEER - are weird and fascinating when you get to know them.

December 15, 2014 — Darren Naish

Seals, the early years

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 [...]

June 11, 2014 — Darren Naish

Reasons for really liking wildebeest

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.

February 26, 2014 — Darren Naish

A lynx, shot dead in England in c. 1903

For over 100 years, a potentially significant dead cat has been sat in storage in a British museum. Specifically, the specimen – the lynx Ab4458 – has been at Bristol Museum and Art Gallery ever since it was added to the collections there in February 1903, and what makes it significant is that it was shot dead after living wild in Devon, southern England. As revealed in a new paper published by Aberystwyth* University’s Max Blake and a team of colleagues (myself, Greger Larson, Charlotte King, Geoff Nowell, Manabu Sakamoto and Ross Barnett), the specimen represents a historic ‘British big cat’, though with ‘big cat’ being used very much in the vernacular sense, not the technical one (Blake et al. 2013).

April 24, 2013

Meet the Scaly-Tail Gliders

Among the weirdest and most fascinating of rodents are the scalytails/scaly-tails, scaly-tailed squirrels or anomalures, properly termed Anomaluridae.

March 3, 2015

Surprises From Placental Mammal Phylogeny 2: Skunks Are Not Weasels

Time for another article on placental mammal phylogeny, again focusing on results that are still not tremendously well known outside the zoological community (for previous articles go here for a general introduction to placental phylogeny, and here for thoughts on the position of pangolins).

July 25, 2015 — Darren Naish

5 Neat Things about Warthog Skeletons

Warthogs are African members of the pig family, famous for their long, upcurved tusks and facial ‘warts’. They are mostly naked-skinned, possess a dorsal crest that’s longest over the neck and shoulders, and are specialised grazers that ‘kneel’ on their wrists in order to bring the mouth close to the ground. As much as I’d like the talk about warthogs at length, we’re here because of the skeleton and, specifically, just a few things about it...

May 22, 2015 — Darren Naish
Now That’s a Wee Little Infographic

Now That’s a Wee Little Infographic

  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.

September 28, 2014 — Glendon Mellow