Sunday, 16 September 2018

Speculative Biology with Dougal Dixon (and me) at TetZooCon, London, 6-7 October 2018

Some of you may already know the Tetrapod Zoology blog written by Darren Naish. It has been hosted in various places over the years. It recently moved away from Scientific American to its own place, I recommend it to everyone who is interested in regular biology besides speculative biology. Actually, I suppose that everyone with an interest in speculative biology will also be interested in real biology. Darren regularly discusses speculative zoology too, by the way, so it's worth browsing through his earlier posts for that reason alone.

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He also organises a yearly convention, the appropriately named 'TetZooCon'. I will simply quote from the TetZooCon pages to tell you what it is about:

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? 

That should do it... This year it will be a two day event, for the first time. Although I had my eye on that convention for some time, this year is the first time that my schedule allows me to go and visit it. I already knew Darren from the World Science Fiction Convention in London, LonCon3, in 2014. Now, one thing led to another, and rather than just sit in the audience I will take part: on Sunday, October 7th, Dougal Dixon and yours truly will discuss speculative biology from 1400-1500 hrs. Afterwards there will be an opportunity for book signing by Dougal Dixon.

I hope to see you in London!


Spugpow said...

Awesome! Hopefully the talk gets posted on Youtube.

Forgive me for asking an off-topic question here, but I vaguely remember you writing a blog post specifically about the biomechanics of exoskeletal limbs, which unfortunately I can't seem to find. Do you know what I'm talking about, or am I misremembering? I think you went over the fact that limbs have to be able to support several times the animal's body weight because of the forces they experience when running.

Sigmund Nastrazzurro said...

Spugpow: I am sorry, but that does not ring a bell. I am certain that i never wrote a post with that as its main subject, but it might have come up in the comments of another post. I do seem to remember writing that one of the problems of exoskeletons is that they the skeleton is not protected against mechanical injury: if an endoskeletal animal falls on a rock, its skin and muscles will cushion the bone from the impact, whereas an exoskeleton would suffer the full force of the blow. I also think that there may be a discussion in one of my books on biomechanics about the increase in mass of an exoskeleton with scale. If not, that could be an interesting blog post some day...

Spugpow said...

I must have read it somewhere else then. Oh well!

Thanks for the response, and enjoy TetZooCon!