Tetrapod Zoology is a blog by paleontologist and zoologist Dr. Darren Naish that covers varied topics regarding tetrapods (mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians both extinct and extant). It is widely considered one of the best (if not the best) zoological blogs in the blogosphere, for although Naish is a dinosaur paleontologist by profession, he maintains a healthy interest in tetrapods of all kinds and his knowledge on them can border on almost-terrifying levels. Due to the blog's diverse content as well as its frequent coverage of obscure tetrapods and obscure facts on well-known tetrapods, readers are almost guaranteed to learn something new. Unusually for the Internet, the comment sections on the blog are often just as valuable and informative as the blog posts themselves due to a tendency for readers (as well as Naish himself) to provide additional information and discussions in the comments. It also has a podcast, which is found, with John Conway, here. There's also a Twitter feed.The blog started out on Blogspot in 2006, then moved to Scienceblogs in 2007. In 2011, it moved to Scientific American. Naish also made the majority of his technical papers (several of which were covered on his blog) freely available from here.
This work provides examples of the following tropes:
Beware the Nice Ones: Naish normally allows cranks to comment as they please. (Thankfully, as far as popular blogs go there Tet Zoo hasn't suffered as many cranks as one might expect.) But when he does decide to reply to them, or finds that one really has overstepped the mark... (Though by that time the crank is likely to have been already torn apart by regular Tet Zoo commenters who are less likely to hold back.)
And God help you if he actually writes an entire post in response to something a crank has said.
Big Eater: The various animals in the "overenthusiastic swallowing" series, which covers instances where animals swallow things too large for them. A few examples have the swallowers surviving the ordeal, but most aren't that lucky.
Curb-Stomp Battle: Essentially any "debate" between a crank and Naish or regular commenter David Marjanović goes this way.
Department of Redundancy Department: The April Fools' joke on the scientific discovery of the Mokele Mbembe mentions "coelacanths" multiple times while listing "living fossils".note This might double as a jab at proponents of the idea that some extinct animals such as plesiosaurs, pterosaurs or non-avian dinosaurs might actually survive to this day in remote corners of the world, as these people almost always cite specifically the existence of coelacanth as a fact showing that such survival is possible - a claim Naish addressed in an earlier post.
One of the only times Tet Zoo has ever dedicated a post to a non-tetrapod it was to the giant Jurassic fish Leedsichthys. Ironically, the post was about how said fish was probably not as large as often reported. It was still large enough to fit this trope though.
Herbivores Are Friendly: As anyone well versed in zoology knows, this is definitely not (always) the case. Several posts have covered instances of normally herbivorous animals eating meat (as well as otherwise being aggressive).
Lizard Folk: Naish reallydislikes this trope as applied to hypothetical sapient dinosaurs, and he's not the only one.
Misplaced Wildlife: This post mentions Spinosaurus, Carcharodontosaurus and Rugops all living together. However, Spinosaurus came from the Baharija and Kem Kem beds of Egypt & Morocco, whereas Rugops was found in the Nigerian Echkar formation (Carcharodontosaurus has been found in all those places).
Running Gag: There's a recurring gag among commenters that someone will guess "gorgonopsian" or "ropen" whenever Naish does any "guess the animal" posts.
Another running gag is Naish's utter fanboyism over babirusa, even leading to a picture of him mounting a babirusa like a horse.
The fact that the discovery of the kabomani tapir was mentioned in two podcasts in a row has led to subsequent jokes that Naish and Conway need to mention it in every podcast. They even have merchandise of it.
The longest comment thread in the history of the blog made "Permian bears" a running gag for a while.note To elaborate, the discussion was in large part about different proposed explanations for geographic distribution of members of various groups of animals. The discussion was joined by two panbiogeographers, who argued that if members of particular group are present on more than one continent, then the group must have originated back then those continents were connected. This might be true in some cases, but they tended to reject possible alternatives, such as oversea dispersal, no matter how well supported by fossil record and other evidence. This led them to advocate things like Jurassic origin for primates and, in the specific Tet Zoo comment thread, also Jurassic origin for ratites. One commenter then sarcastically suggested that, taking into account the geographic distribution of bears their Permian origin should be considered, and thus a Running Gag was born.
Schedule Slip: Used to happen quite frequently, and there are numerous post series started years ago that have yet to be finished. Fortunately, years of blogging have made Naish Genre Savvy by now, and these days he tends to finish series on his computer before he starts posting them, reducing the chances of this trope occurring.
Science Marches On: Occasionally befalls the blog posts, though some of them have been reposted in later versions of the blog with updates.
Sometimes brought up in the posts (or even as entire posts themselves) when discussing the history of study on particular animals.
Taking You with Me: Shown heavily in the "overenthusiastic swallowing" series, where many predators are shown choking to death on prey too large or spiny to swallow. Ditto the "when bivalves attack" series, which talks about seabirds getting parts of their bodies caught by bivalves and often dying.
Threatening Shark: Sharks are not tetrapods, of course, but have been mentioned in passing, and on twooccasions Naish actually devoted a full post to them.
Toothy Bird: Mesozoic birds, of course, are also covered, and many of them had teeth.