Well, the whole ‘distributed denial of service’ thing has done a pretty effective job of keeping me away from Tet Zoo entirely. No chance to blog, and not even the chance to look at the site at all – so, wow, thanks for keeping the protobats discussion going (
97 98 comments… not bad). While those jolly nice people at ScienceBlogs tech support have just unblocked my IP address, it seems that lots of readers remain blocked – I see Tet Zoo sliding down the ratings a bit over on Nature Blog Network. Yikes, fifth place! Anyway, I’m just about ready to start deluging Tet Zoo with the enormous vesper bat series… until then, here are a collection of recent-ish images that result from various adventures, with commentary.
For starters, above find a nice portrait of yours truly, lovingly crafted by the brilliant David Maas (who does lots of neat dinosaur stuff, by the way). It arrives in the wake (cough cough) of the Bownessie saga, but – coincidentally – was first encountered by me at about the same time as I did a long interview for a documentary about the Loch Ness monster. Ah, how I love those cryptozoology-for-TV projects. Speaking of which, I’m reliably informed that I featured in the first episode of the new National Geographic series Wild Case Files, broadcast in the US on Monday (14th March). I do the whole “the Montauk monster is definitely a dead raccoon” thing, again. Haven’t seen it yet, but look forward to it. And, while on the subject of cryptozoology on TV, Patrick Spain’s new Nat Geo series – titled Beast Man in the UK – is now being broadcast. Pat is – I’m dead serious – a self-professed Tet Zoo fan, and he mentions me by name in the Cadborosaurus episode at least. Neat news on Cadborosaurus to come real soon, by the way. It involves that whole ‘analysing cryptids in the peer-reviewed literature’ thing. And… note to self: discuss ZSL cryptozoology meeting happening on 12th July this year. On the subject of monsters, the adjacent photo shows the hilarious sloth I recently encountered at the Horniman Museum in London (upside-down).
Anyway, I didn’t mean this to turn into a cryptozoology love-fest. In other news, I’ve been outstandingly productive lately in terms of academic papers, with stuff currently in the system at Nature, Science, Journal of Zoology, PNAS, Journal of Systematic Palaeontology and Cretaceous Research. Again, I’m dead serious. Two projects on large exotic cats are now well underway as are projects on Cretaceous theropods and a very neat crocodilian manuscript. Dorling Kindersley’s augmented reality book Dinosaur, written by John Woodward (I was consultant), has just arrived, but I don’t know if it’s out in the shops yet. The digital 3D pop-up art (by Peter Minister) is pretty good – below you can see one of the dinosaurs.
Together with Mike P. Taylor and John Conway (and thanks entirely to the outstandingly good graces of RVC’s John Hutchinson), I got to dissect a baby giraffe lately – wow, so pretty much everything published about zygapophyses is total nonsense. Hmm.
While I could prattle on a lot more, that’ll do for now – I just wanted to announce a return to business. Saw this interesting mural lately, and thought it worthy of attention here…
The artist is proud of his work but I don’t know if I should mention his name. It isn’t Mark Witton.