The author of Laelaps (Brian Switek) feeding a giraffe at the “Animal Kingdom Zoo” in NJ.
Welcome, dear reader, to Laelaps, my spot on the web for the various ramblings, asinine assertions, and the occasional insightful thought involving ecology, zoology, paleontology, anthropology, and evolution. Readers familiar with my previous posts on Laelaps v. 1 will know that I’m partial to vertebrate paleontology, but most of what I write is an attempt to relay what I’ve been learning about the history of life on earth and isn’t limited to sabercats, theropod dinosaurs, archaeocetes, etc. (although you can expect to see plenty of them).
At present I’m a Rutgers University undergraduate student with an official major of “Ecology & Evolution” (but unofficially “Evolutionary Anthropology”; it’s complicated), although I’ve switched courses of study of few times. Over the past 6 years I’ve majored in Marine Science; Environmental Policies, Institutions, and Behaviors; and Eco. and Evo., earning a 2-year degree in education along the way, and I’m sure in time more details about this process will come out in the form of a frustrated rant (but not today). Indeed, my transcript looks like an absolute trainwreck, but the diversity of courses I’ve taken has given me a much broader background in natural history than I would have gained had if I never changed my major at all.
Most of what I learn, however, I acquire outside the lecture halls through books, and if it were not for my compulsion to always be reading or writing something when I have a free moment this blog certainly would not exist. Still, I am not entirely a bookworm, and I often visit zoos, aquariums, museums, national parks, and other areas that might offer up good photographic opportunities, and I’ll be sharing the better photographs on this blog in addition to the regular posts.
An Amur Leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis) at the Philadelphia Zoo, taken a few weeks ago.
I should probably wrap up this introduction before I go on too long, but I am absolutely ecstatic about being a part of the ScienceBlogs community. From the consistent quality of work seen from many of my fellow SciBlings, I definitely have my work cut out for me, but I plan on hitting the ground running. I’ll be bringing back/updating/revising many of the “classic” (if I may use such a term) Laelaps posts in addition to the loads of brand-new material I have planned. Whatever I have written in the past or will write in the future, however, I am definitely glad to be here and I am looking forward to sharing my understanding of what Darwin once called the “endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful.”