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 meeting themed around the contents and remit of the world-famous blog Tetrapod Zoology (currently in its 13th year and 4th iteration). This year - for the first time ever - we're making the leap to a WHOLE WEEKEND EVENT, the weekend concerned being Saturday October 6th and Sunday October 7th. Yes, TWO WHOLE DAYS devoted to the TetZooniverse. A longer event means a higher ticket price than previous years, which we hope is understandable (we'd like to remind people that we are still not making a profit from this event...).
Previous years have seen exciting schedules of talks and workshop events (see below): this year we have parallel sessions, a panel discussion, a whole stack of talks from amazing people (including Lucy Cooke, Katrina van Grouw and Aron Ra), several book launches, and (possibly) an on-stage debate. Merchandise and promotional material will also be on show. More info on the schedule is included below.
As per 2017, we're at our new, bigger venue: The Venue on Malet Street, central London.
Doors open at 10am on Saturday and 9am on Sunday, and talks start at 10.20am and 9.20am, respectively. Tea and coffee are included in the admission price of £100.
Attendance for the palaeoart workshop - learn from some of the UK’s top palaeoartists. This year, the workshop will include more time with the artists, and some extra talks.
The Venue, Student Central
London, WC1E 7HY
Talks from previous years (2014 to 2017) have covered a huge range of subjects...
2014's meeting included talks on 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), azhdarchid pterosaurs (Mark Witton, University of Portsmouth), Shakespeare and mystery primates (Carole Jahme, journalist and broadcaster), wildlife photography (Neil Phillips, UK Wildlife) and the biology of sauropod dinosaurs (Mike Taylor, University of Bristol).
At the 2015 meeting we had talks on urban birdwatching (David Lindo, aka The Urban Birdwatcher), Mesozoic marine reptiles (Jessica Lawrence-Wujek, University of Southampton), pygmy elephants (Matt Salusbury, freelance journalist), 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.
2016 was similarly excellent and electric: speakers covered bears in Britain (Hannah O'Regan, University of Nottingham), the vital statistics of the Loch Ness Monster (Charles Paxton, University of St Andrews), the biomechanics of kneecaps (John Hutchinson, Royal Veterinary College), dinosaurs and the evolution of sex (Darren Naish, yet again), exotic sooglossid frogs (Jim Labisko, University of Kent), pterosaur biology (David Unwin, University of Leicester) and more.
The 2017 event was the first at our new, much larger venue: The Venue. The substantial extra space allowed much more as goes merchandise, products and artwork. Talks included Darren Naish on Hunting Monsters, Rose-Heather Mikhail on the history of zoos, Dani Rabaiotti on Does It Fart?, Aubrey Roberts on Triassic marine reptiles, Beth Windle on thylacines, and Ben Garrod on how things work in TV-land... A fuller account can be read here at TetZoo.
All of these meetings 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.
Announcing Events for the 2018 Meeting
The 2018 meeting is going to be our first ever two-day event. Unsurprisingly, it'll feature about twice as much material as the TetZooCons of previous years, plus the larger scope of the meeting means that we have space for more stuff: there will be a specialised block of talks (on bird evolution), a panel discussion (on bird evolution), a parallel palaeoart session that occurs separately from the other talks, four or five or six book signing events, an on-stage debate about a contentious issue, a conference meal, a drinks reception, more room for stalls and sales, and more. TetZooCon 2018 will end with our famous quiz - the many winnings involving a whole stack of brilliant prizes - and a mandatory pub trip. Kidding, it's not mandatory. At the time of writing (August 2018), the schedule isn't finalised, but we have an amazing list of confirmed speakers and presenters. Talk abstracts will be produced for the meeting, but right now we can confirm the following...
Saturday 6th October
Steven Zhang – The Rise and Fall of the Straight-Tusked Elephant: What We Know
Jennifer Jackson – Baleen whale origins, connections and recovery levels in the Southern Hemisphere
Steve Allain – Snake Fungal Disease: Potential Threats to European snakes
Lucy Cooke – The Truth About Animals (WITH BOOK SIGNING)
Katrina van Grouw – Unnatural Selection: Evolution at the Hand of Man (WITH BOOK SIGNING)
Ian Redmond – The Reluctant Conservationist, 40 Years On: From Gorilla Parasites and Poachers to Virtual Safaris
Fiona Taylor – Music for Wildlife Documentaries – A Composer's Perspective
Mark O’Shea – Erroneous Environs or Aberrant Activities: Using Forensic Historical Herpetology to Resolve Unexpected Collection Localities for Specimens From the New Guinea Worm-Eating Snakes of the Genus Toxicocalamus (WITH BOOK SIGNING)
Palaeoart Event (talk titles yet to come) – Mark Witton (WITH BOOK SIGNING), Bob Nicholls, John Conway
Steve White – Flesh! A Brief Prehistory of Dinosaurs in Comics (WITH BOOK SIGNING)
Luis Rey – Bringing Dinosaurs Back to Life
Sunday 7th October
Robyn Womack – How Do Birds Tell the Time?
Albert Chen – The Dinosaurs That Survived: Origin, Resilience, and Diversification of Crown-birds
Caitlin Kight – Sonic Doom: Effects of Anthropogenic Disturbance on Bird Communication
Hanneke Meijer – A Fossil Bird Perspective on Southeast Asian Biogeography
Glyn Young – What a Boring Duck: Why Southern Hemisphere Ducks Are So Dull
Aron Ra – The Phylogeny Explorer Project
Darren Naish – Dinosaurs in the Wild, a Backstory
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, Dinosaurs: How They Lived & Evolved). 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. 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, 2015, 2016 and 2017 were, variously, a pig’s skull, a huge box of dinosaur toys, and a replica mosasaur, and numerous great books and scale models of dinosaurs, many kindly provided by the excellent people at EverythingDinosaur.com).
Given that TetZooCon is, finally, expanded TetZooCon to a two-day event, we hope ultimately to make it 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.
Code of Conduct
TetZooCon operates a code of conduct whereby we do not tolerate harassment of conference participants in any form. Participants violating these rules may be sanctioned or expelled from the conference without a refund at the discretion of the organisers. We follow the Conference Code of Conduct recommendations explained in more detail here.