Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Celebrating Tetrapod Zoology's 9th Birthday!

Dr. Darren Naish has published his blog, now carried by Scientific American, for nine years now. In that time, Tetrapod Zoology has opened countless drawers in the great vault of Nature, presenting us with current, insightful analysis of new animal discoveries, mysteries, cryptozoological claims, advances in taxonomy, and controversies. He has T-shirts (throughout Western civilization, T-shirts are an important mark of having arrived!), podcasts, and even a comic series with Ethan Kocak that explores  topics you and I have never thought to write a comic about, from the name of the white rhino (which is decidedly not white) to the antics of a sloth that likes to break into outhouses and eat the contents (really).  There's also a book taken directly from the blog and other books contributing to new views of dinosaurs and of the creatures of cryptozoology.  Oh, and in his not-so-secret identity as a dedicated paleontologist, he's also found time to describe a new species of sauropod dinosaur among other scientific papers created or contributed to.  His publication list is darned impressive..

Darren can be blunt about lousy science, he can be funny, he can be wrong (and admit it), and he can be sternly dismissive (as with the wilder claims of cryptozoology).  He can also, however, embrace the mysterious and the weird.  He holds open the possibility there is an undiscovered long-necked pinniped behind some "sea serpent" tales, has speculated on a giant form of orangutan behind unknown-primate reports in SE Asia,  and is always open to new ideas.  That makes him one of the few Ph.D's willing to listen to everyone in the complex, cacophonous, overlapping worlds of zoology, cryptozoology, and paleontology.

So congratulations, Darren, and many more years! 

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