Chris writes, “I teach science at a public school in eastern Mass. This tattoo was taken from a New Yorker cartoon that my wife and I both have hanging in our classroom’s (she teaches science, too). Most people think it’s her Dad…there is a resemblance. When told it’s Charles Darwin, too many people reply, “Who’s Charles Darwin?”. It’s kind of sad. I call this Darwin Kong, the establishment trying to destroy Darwin for the same reason it destroyed Kong, it just didn’t understand him.”
The tattoo is a tribute to the past monsters of the deep, the top shark is meant to be Carcharodon megalodon, and the bottom is a Tylosaur Mosasaur. Mixed amongst the waves are Ammonites, based upon Kosmoceras Ammonites. I am an acarologist with an unhealthy obsession with fossils.
Vicki writes, “This coelacanth is on my abdomen. I’ve been fond of these rare, distant relatives for a while, and got this inked a couple of years ago.”
This is a tattoo of the prairie grass Andropogon gerardii, or big blue stem. My masters research involved land disturbance, mycorrhizae and soil properties associated with this & two other common prairie plants.
Also notice that this tattoo is over a wicked scar from a car accident where I shattered my calcaneus. More than half of a prairie plant is below ground, keeping the plant alive during regular disturbances (such as fire or grazing). The extensive root system over my repaired heal symbolizes stability, strength and recovery. I had the obscure idea, but the artist (Kit) made my botanical mumblings a reality.
Attached is a picture of my science tattoo. It is a Marsh Pick, with a series of Pentaceratops vertebra, and a blue peace sign. I am a vertebrate paleontologist and geologist who works on ceratopsid dinosaurs. Since I am a southerner, I choose a southern species of ceratopsian (Pentaceratops sternbergi), from New Mexico. I love the color blue, so I went with the blue peace sign. The whole design is based after the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, but altered to fit my specific passions.
Vincent, “a fledgling mathematician,” writes:
This tattoo is of a microscope. 90% of the time when I show it to people they say ‘Oh! a telescope!’ I generally don’t correct them, I just get a little uncomfortable and put my shirt back on. Most of the images are copies of SEMs, the background figures include, a fish parasite, anthrax, a scoop of iced cream that has fallen off the cone, flea eggs, bone marrow, and a virus attacking a sun dried tomato! yum!
These are two species of primates that I had tattooed on my forearms. One is a tamarin monkey in honor of Paul Garber (who studies tamarin monkeys), the professor who started me off on the path to becoming a biological anthropologist. The other is a sifaka, my current study species. This tattoo was actually paid for by my advisor, Alison Richard (how cool is that!). Alison promised me a sifaka tattoo once I finished my dissertation. Overall, I have three tattoos, as part of a silly/dorky–but accomplished–plan I came up with my freshman year in college after I decided I wanted to be a primatologist: get one tattoo for each degree I earn. I have a DNA “armband” for my BA; the tamarin monkey is for my MA degree, and the sifaka marks my Ph.D.
Richard writes, “On my shoulder. Taken from an engraving by Ernest Haekel.”
Carl: Here’s the Wikipedia page on diatoms, those abundant microscopic shell-builders of the sea. And here’s a gallery of Haeckel’s amazing illustrations—many tattoos in the making (and made, in some cases).
MLR writes: “The Tree of Life—carbon, glucose, light, DNA, and the golden rectangle. A tattoo by Kevin Riley. On the chest of a PhD student in molecular biology.”
Chris writes, “This is an image of a female Cave Weta – A New Zealand indiginous insect similar to a grasshopper, except much larger.”