Are you interested in animals, and specifically in tetrapods: that is, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals, living and extinct? Are you interested in their evolution, biology and diversity, in their portrayal in art, literature and fiction, in the animals of the distant past, in conservation, cryptozoology, domestication and, frankly, in just about anything relevant to the world of tetrapods? If the answer is “Hmm, I’m not sure”, you might like to go away and do something different. BUT if the answer is “Yes”, have you heard about TetZooCon?
Yes, TetZooCon, an annual meaning themed around the contents and remit of the world-famous blog Tetrapod Zoology (currently in its 11th year, and currently hosted at Scientific American). Join us this Saturday October 1st 2016 for a day’s worth of events devoted to the TetZooniverse. Previous years have seen exciting schedules of talks and workshop events (see below), all set in the excellent venue that is the London Wetland Centre, Barnes, west London (where food and facilities are available). This year we once again have access to the theatre-style lecture room, and we once again have an excellent line-up of exciting talks, events and more.
Doors open at 9am, and talks start at 9.20am. Tea and coffee are included in the admission price of £50. This is the third TetZooCon so far, and we’re obviously planning for this to be a regular, annual event – this can only happen if enough people attend and take part (and so far, so good).
TetZooCons of the Past
Talks from previous years (2014 and 2015) have variously covered mermaids past and present (Paolo Viscardi, Horniman Museum and Art Gallery), the history of speculative zoology (Darren Naish, Tet Zoo Towers), the amphibian conservation crisis (Helen Meredith, ZSL), pygmy elephants (Matt Salusbury, freelance journalist), Shakespeare and mystery primates (Carole Jahme, journalist and broadcaster), the biology of sauropod dinosaurs (Mike Taylor, University of Bristol), urban birdwatching (David Lindo, aka The Urban Birdwatcher), azhdarchid pterosaurs (Mark Witton, University of Portsmouth), Mesozoic marine reptiles (Jessica Lawrence-Wujek, University of Southampton), wildlife photography (Neil Phillips, UK Wildlife), the story behind The Future Is Wild (Vicky Coules, writer and artist), the story behind The Unfeathered Bird (Katrina van Grouw, artist and writer), the science of sea monsters (Darren Naish again), and more. Previous events have also featured collaborative palaeoart workshops led by several leading palaeoartists: John Conway, Bob Nicholls, and Mark Witton. Prints of their work are on sale at the meeting.
2016 will be similarly excellent and electric: confirmed speakers are covering birds of prey, bears, biomechanics, dinosaurs and sex, exotic frogs, and pterosaur biology.
Merchandise and more
Merchandise is on sale and includes artwork, wildlife photography, books, and Rebecca Groom’s famous palaeoplushies. We invite those interested in hosting stalls to contact us.
John and Darren sell and sign their own books at the event (All Yesterdays, The Cryptozoologicon, The Great Dinosaur Discoveries, Walking With Dinosaurs: The Evidence). Other authors, including Matt Salusbury (Pygmy Elephants), Katrina van Grouw (The Unfeathered Bird), David Lindo (The Urban Birder) and Mark Witton (Pterosaurs, Recreating an Age of Reptiles) have sold and signed books at TetZooCon in the past. Katrina and Mark will be in attendance at the 2016 meeting. Indeed, special guests you may know and recognise from the TetZooniverse (and beyond) will be in attendance.
We end the event with a zoology-themed quiz with excellent prizes (the top prizes of 2014 and 2015 were a pig’s skull and a huge box of dinosaur toys, the latter kindly provided by the excellent people at EverythingDinosaur.com). Oh, and there’s invariably a post-meeting pub trip which we invite you to attend.
We hope to eventually expand TetZooCon to a two-day event, and ultimately to something even longer. We’re still in the early stages, and hope that, through your support, this will happen in time. Please check back here for updates and further information.
London Wetland Centre
Queen Elizabeth Walk
Barnes, London SW13 9WT