Jurassic Mascot [Science Ink]

By Carl Zimmer | July 12, 2010 7:00 am

cooperoceras texanum tattoo440Susan, a graduate student, writes,

I got my tattoo in 2008 after raising enough money by carrying around a jar marked “tattoo fund” as I bar hopped for my 21st birthday. The tattoo is of a Permian cephalopod from the Guadalupe Mountains of Texas, Cooperoceras texanum.

I have loved paleontology for as long as I can remember. When I was looking at colleges, I came across a program called “Earth, Life, and Time” at the University of Maryland. It was a 2 year program as a part of an honors living and learning program called College Park Scholars. ELT was run by two amazing paleontologists, Dr. Tom Holtz and Dr. John Merck. The program was what convinced me to go to UMD and without these two great professors, I might not even be alive today. They are not only wonderful human beings, but also some of the greatest teachers at the university. Of all the classes with a natural history or evolutionary focus offered at the university, the classes they taught were truly of the highest caliber. To honor them, I got the mascot of the Earth, Life, and Time program, Cooperoceras texanum, tattooed on my leg. Unfortunately, the program is no longer offered at the university, due to shifting research goals in the the Geology Department, but Dr. Merck and Dr. Holtz now run a new program called “Science and Global Change”. ELT remains in the hearts and minds of the decade worth of students who came through it’s classroom.

Click here to go to the full Science Tattoo Emporium.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Science Tattoo Emporium

Comments (4)

  1. John Kwok

    Shouldn’t your blog entry be entitled Permian Mascot, Carl? Hope you haven’t forsaken Derek Briggs.

  2. Susan, thanks for the kind words! ELT will always be close to our hearts and minds, too!

  3. Alex Truesdale Perry

    Dr Holtz and Dr Merck really are amazing scientists and educators. What an excellent tattoo!

  4. Kloro

    Sadly, Discover falls into the “science reporter” trap that names anything prehistoric as “Jurassic.”

    Neanderthals – Jurassic Men!
    Trilobites – Jurassic crabs!
    Smilodon – Jurassic kitties!


Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!

The Loom

A blog about life, past and future. Written by DISCOVER contributing editor and columnist Carl Zimmer.

About Carl Zimmer

Carl Zimmer writes about science regularly for The New York Times and magazines such as DISCOVER, which also hosts his blog, The LoomHe is the author of 12 books, the most recent of which is Science Ink: Tattoos of the Science Obsessed.


See More

Collapse bottom bar