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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Bring out the Tats Round 1

DSN recently posted Ocean Tattoos from the illustrious Love Lab at UCSC UCSB. Of course mindful of the historic Invertebrate Wars and the recent artful attempts by pro-echinoderm agents to renew the conflicts, I thought maybe a survey of science tattoo subjects could be used as a proxy to head it off.

With that in mind I headed over to Carl Zimmer's science tattoo galleries for a pilot study. I figured out of the 200 or so science tattoo's in his gallery at most a quarter of them were of animals so that would provide a nice sample size I could handle between classes. Sure enough, I ended up with 41 tattoos for which the animal was the subject, and that wasn't of a specific personality (e.g. no Darwin tattoos). I then evaluated each tat for the main subject phylum, except the case of the chordata, where I evaluated as invertebrate chordates and vertebrates (this being an invert centric blog after all)

The score:
Vertebrates: 16
Invertebrate Chordates: 1 (Pikaia)
Arthopoda: 13
Cnidaria : 2
Echinodermata: 2
Lobopodia: 1
Mollusca : 5

For the invertebrate war phyla, I was surprised that both echinoderms and molluscs are so under-represented in the gallery. I may have to get a tat for graduation, and another when I get a masters.

Hopefully the Love Lab won't be so vertebrate skewed...

Hmmm... who belongs to this winning one?


  1. Careful now. Love lab is at ucsB not ucsC...

  2. I'm actually shocked the arthropods are so underrepresented... I mean, one? With the whole range of Arthropoda as options?

    I think I need to get a Porifera tattoo. They just aren't getting the love they deserve.

  3. Prize to Miriam!

    Todd...don't know why I had UCSC on the brain... UCSB it is!

    Christie, somehow the "3" got dropped when I imported the posting... that should be 13 Arthopod tattoos. Mostly Triobites and Insects.

    As for the Porifera... I agree they get very little tattoo love (or any other kind for that matter!)

    Also no Salp love to be seen, I can't be the only one who thinks a salp (and a Salp + Phronima amphipod) would be a cool tattoo?

  4. Oh yeah, you are counting that as two points for molusca, right?

  5. Oh... good point!

    That will make Love Lab's a bit more complicated though... several multi-species and multi-phylum tats there.


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