Those of you in the UK – or within easy reach of it – will doubtless be interested in attending the Tetrapod Zoology-themed event of the year, by which I of course mean TetZooCon, a conference that includes material on anything and everything to do with the evolutionary history, biology, behaviour, ecology and conservation of amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals and their portrayal in art, literature and culture. Previous TetZooCons have covered everything from sauropod necks, mermaids and the portrayal of pterosaurs in art to amphibian conservation, speculative zoology, the history of bears in Britain, pygmy elephants and photographing wildlife. The meeting is open to anyone: it isn’t intended to be technical or accessible only to professional scientists.

The 2017 banner. Mostly anamniote-themed... if it wasn’t for that pesky Jason Pardo. Credit: Conway, Naish

Here’s what might be your final reminder to book tickets and come along. The date is Saturday October 21st 2017 and the venue is, err, The Venue, Malet Street, London. More information and a booking link is here. Booking is £50 per head (we don’t send tickets, but send email confirmation).

A conference poster devoted, in part, to that big textbook project. To be seen at TetZooCon, I hope. Credit: Darren Naish

This will be the fourth TetZooCon. As per the trend so far, it’s going to be bigger, better attended and with more stuff than the previous ones. Indeed, there’s a packed schedule that involves a day of talks and events, talks covering such issues as the history of zoos (Rose-Heather Mikhail), the farting habits of non-human animals (Daniella Rabaiotti), Mesozoic marine reptiles (Aubrey Roberts), science and cryptozoology (Darren Naish), thylacines (Beth Windle), and science on TV (Ben Garrod). As per usual, I’m bringing along the current draft (version 6) of my still in-prep volume The Vertebrate Fossil Record, nearing completion.

A Hunting Monsters montage. Credit: Darren Naish (bigfoot and dingonek by John Conway, Emela-Ntouka by Tim Bertelink Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 4.0)

We also have several book signings. Steve White and others will be there with Dinosaur Art 2, Daniella Rabaiotti will be there with Does It Fart?, Mark Witton is signing Age of Reptiles and I’m signing Hunting Monsters. There will also be stalls with merchandise and other products (Rebecca Groom’s palaeoplushies will be in attendance). A special palaeoart event involving a rather large and ambitious thing – we’re keeping it secret – will be happening as well and a first for this year is a sort of show-and-tell table where people are, it seems, bringing along models, cakes and all manner of other relevant stuff they’ve made themselves. TetZooCon 2017 will close with a quiz featuring tons of great prizes (including models from those fantastic people at Everything Dinosaur and various goodies from Dinosaurs In The Wild). After the event, we disembark to the function room in a nearby pub (we were sadly not able to use the bar at the venue).

I'm not saying that these toys from Dinosaurs In The Wild will be in attendance, but these toys from Dinosaurs In The Wild might be in attendance. Credit: Darren Naish

We also have a number of special guests in attendance. Johan Egerkrans will be there with his book Alla Tiders Dinosaurier (so far only available in Swedish and difficult to obtain in the UK – anyone interested in palaeoart will want it for the art alone), Ralph Attanasia of TV’s Cake Boss (a veteran in the construction of model animals) will be there, as will a list of others from the UK’s natural history, zoology, museum and palaeontology scene. Speakers from previous TetZooCons will be there too.

Like palaeoart? Then you must obtain Johan Egerkrans Alla Tiders Dinosaurier. Good news: copies will be available a TetZooCon. Credit: Darren Naish

So consider this one of the last calls to attend. We look forward to seeing you there! Book now. For more information see the facebook page and/or follow #TetZooCon on twitter.

For articles on previous TetZooCons, see...