Sunday, April 25, 2010

New blog, first post!

A shrew that with a spine so strong it can withstand the force of an adult human standing on top of it. A bat with a snorkel on its nose. A fish that hunts birds. I didn't know these things existed, either.

I work at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, in a job that provides me a daily glimpse of Earth's incredible vertebrate diversity. I'll post more about what I do in a coming post. What I've learned so far, though, is that the lions, tigers, and bears that we all learned about growing up are boring. Perhaps boring is too strong of a word. The important thing, however, is that there is so much more. Our planet is teeming with countless unsung species with astounding beauty and fascinating habits. Each day, these creatures marvel me, and each day, their diversity bewilders me.

I started a Twitter account a while ago to share these creatures that I discover each day with anyone who might be interested, and so that once I finish my work here, I won't forget them. I've found, though, that 140 characters just isn't enough to do justice to these remarkable species, which is why I've started this blog.

What exactly will this blog be? I envision it as an online, haphazardly-organized, specimen-based tour of extant vertebrate diversity (some of it at least). Haphazardly-organized because the way this will work is that basically whenever I come across a cool specimen in the collections, I'll post pictures and fun facts about its natural history here. And I'll still post to Twitter whenever I update here. Enjoy!


  1. I am looking forward to finding out more. In the words of Charles Darwin:

    “The most humble organism is something much higher than the dust under our feet; and no one with an unbiased mind can study any living creature, however humble, without being struck with enthusiasm at its marvellous structure and properties.”

    Kind regards,


  2. Matthew, thanks for the comment. Love the quote.