As a geologist I can never go anywhere without being easily distracted, for example I’m sure people (mainly women) often think I am ‘eyeing’ them up, when in actual fact there is an interesting sedimentary structure preserved in the wall behind them. Likewise, walking through shopping centres, I am probably branded a complete nutcase when walking across the fossiliferous limestone floor whilst making “oooooooooh” sounds. For the past eight years I have been prejudged as a weirdo because I like to lick rocks, and I just can’t work out why these non-rock lovers think geologists are boring and strange.
Yet I thought deeply about why geologists are among the sexiest and cleverest people around, and came to the conclusion that if we created a zoo it would be the best zoo in history (ok so I may be a little biased!). “That’s random” I hear you cry, and yes it is but that is how a geologist thinks.
So, to prove my theory I have come up with a list of the top 10 animals to put in my geo-zoo.
10. Mammoth – I would call him ‘Fluffy’ and he would create a much better ride attraction than a donkey.
9. Plesiosaur – Not Nessie, but some of her ancient relatives could provide a water show like no other.
8. Quetzalcoatlus – The largest of the pterosaurs with a wingspan up to 45ft. By holding the title for the largest creature ever to fly this would be an inspiring sight.
7. Sabre Tooth Tiger – A legend of the ice age, and a powerful predator. Great for school holiday activities like sharpening a sabre tooth. This would undoubtedly come with a health and safety warning that if attempted no liability can be accepted for eaten children.
6. Archaeopteryx – Half dinosaur and half bird, the perfect way to confuse your kids.
5. Terror Bird – This is Big Bird’s scary cousin, one of the largest birds ever to have lived. The head was as big as a horse standing 3m high. This beastie could provide a terrifying attraction.
4. Utahraptor – This 20ft long raptor hunted with large claws and is a giant compared to the chicken-sized Velociraptor.
3. Arthropleura – A giant 6ft long millipede which roamed the Carboniferous forests.
2. Trilobites – These cute critters have an amazing variety of species and no zoo could be without trilobite feeding time.
1. Tyranosaurus Rex – The king of the dinosaurs could have been a hunter, scavenger or both. But one thing is for sure it couldn’t run very fast. Recent research suggests T-Rex could have had ginger feathers, although this was still one of the scariest pair of jaws in history.
Still not convinced? Well as final proof that geologists are cool, sexy and clever I must start by stating that a true geologist is hard, much harder than namby-pamby, wishy washy geographer, especially when sighted in mating plumage. This is indeed a rare sight because geologists are often seen stalking wild rocks to bring them into captivity with a humanely delivered swift blow from a rock hammer. Geologists are extra attractive due to their shiny, sparkly, glamorous specimen collections acquired at great peril to life and limb. When collecting these specimens one of the risks geologists face is being eaten alive by wild animals, but as we earth scientists are so clever we have a solution….take someone who runs slower than you along for the trip.
So the next time somebody says “Geology…isn’t that boring rocks?” you can explain that we band of merry scientists are the sexiest, cleverest people alive, and would make Indiana Jones look like a pansy.