Friday, March 14, 2008

A Geeky New Banner

On account of me not having used colored pencils in recent memory, I'm actually rather surprised at the quality of this. Well, the original looks much sharper and has a blue background (does my scanner not pick up blue?), but hey, it looks, uh, presentable? Now don't get me wrong, this is pretty far removed from those fancy, professional looking banners you might see at Scienceblogs or something. Instead of adding words to a picture, I definitely went for the more homemade look. Perhaps it is commentary on the very nature of this blog.

In the geeky spirit of this page, I might as well reveal the animals in the picture:

Top Row:

Dermophis sp.
A very strange looking lissamphibian (a caecilian) last seen here. A picture at Darren's post also provided inspiration.

Lissodelphis borealis
Previously mentioned here, this is from an image I never got permission to use. Well, I got it from the author, just not the publisher. The original still looks a little skinnier.

Hydrurga leptonyx
The Leopard Seal has not yet been mentioned on this blog. This is one of my favorites.

Middle Row:

Scutisorex somereni
The hero shrew! I felt I needed a nice nondescript small mammalian bust in this drawing for some reason. This species and its incredibly bizarre spine are discussed here.

Monjurosuchus sp.
My only extinct animal (a monjurusuchid choristodere) was discussed and drawn here. Ah, that appears to be the last time I used colored pencils.

Cathartes aura
The turkey vulture. Not outright mentioned, but cathartids are discussed here and here.

Fregata sp.
A generalized male frigatebird with what appears to be semi-inflated throat pouch. Discussed here.

Bottom Row:

Astronotus ocellatus
The Oscar or velvet cichlid. Not discussed (yet), but I did own a few in my childhood.

Leptoptilos crumeniferus
The Marabou stork. Mentioned a few times but not discussed (yet).

Cirroteuthis muelleri
A cirrate octopode, a group discussed here and mentioned sporadically.

Mesoplodon densirostris
The dense-beaked whale, owner of the most dense bone known (in the skull). This species wasn't discussed (yet), but potentially new mesoplodont whales were discussed here and here.

Rafetus swinhoei?, R. leloii?
The closest thing to a cryptid is this, the Hoan Kiem Lake turtle. Although it looks like some crude jumble, I can provide visual confirmation that this species really is that bizarre looking. Although not outright discussed, I previously exploited the bizarreness of softshell turtles for this post.

Smutsia temmincki
That bipedal pangolin mentioned here. And no, it probably shouldn't be in Manis.

Well, my spring break is coming to an unfortunate end.


Anonymous said...

I am surprised to see my old friend, the Hoan Kiem Turtle, here. Last i checked, it was still a cryptid, but then again that was five years ago...
It's so sad when a species goes extinct without being scientifically recognized.

Cameron McCormick said...

I unfortunately can't find the journal(Zoologische Abhandlungen), but the Hoan Kiem Turtle appears to be a member of Rafetus swinhoei. I think there's at least one dead specimen on file from Hoan Kiem. I don't know if the notion of it being a geographical variant has been discounted. The species normally lives in China, but there are only a handful (or less?) known specimens, so this is one of the most critically endangered species I've ever heard about. The singular nature of the Hoan Kiem turtle and its apparently abnormal size are still spectacular, and I think it is the closest we're going to get to a real life lake monster.

Neil said...

Hurrah for DIY lo-fi...

Darren Naish said...

I, personally, love the new banner.

Anonymous said...

That banner makes me so happy, even more so now that it's blue. I don't know why I look at it every day. There's something about their creepy faces that seem to say "good morning" to me.