It’s no secret that nerds love dinosaurs. While body art of a living dinosaur is likely to look cartoonish, fossils have a certain scientific air to them. A fossil tattoo should have a subtle, classy color scheme. Fossil designs are ideal for those who want to avoid a garish, multi-colored tattoo.
Hint: Think beyond Triceratops. Consider a tattoo featuring more obscure prehistoric creatures, such as trilobites or ammonites.
Oh, why didn’t I consult the experts before I branded myself for life as a total amateur?!
But is my tattoo a fanciful picture of a fossil with floral decorations, or a scene set in the Cretaceous of a (relatively) freshly decomposed triceratops in a field of flowers? What do you think?
Not only did they have this excellent triceratops skull (it’s as big as me!), but in the fossil prep lab off to the side of the Hall, museum staff were working on cleaning and assembling triceratops fossils!
More photos (click to enlarge):
I spoke with the nice paleontologist lady in the fossil lab for a while (you can see her arms working on a cast of a big fossil in the first thumbnail photo, above), and she encouraged me to volunteer to help out with the fossil prep. When I told her I lived in a different city, she said some of their volunteers only come in once a month… don’t tempt me!
I wonder if the Museum of Natural History has a similar gig…
After sitting next to me at work for 3+ years, I’m surprised that Sasha didn’t know I was into fossils. This trilobite is my prized possession, fossil-wise, paired with a really nice tattoo I found in modify_evolution’s flickr photostream (gotta keep it on-theme, right?):
I found it in an abandoned quarry in the bluffs in Alton, Illinois, just a few miles outside of my hometown of St. Louis (and across the Mississippi) when I was about 9 years old. My friend Ezra had just found an excellent trilobite fossil near there the weekend before, and I begged my dad to take me (and Ezra) to the same spot to look for more. I didn’t have much hope that I’d find one as nice as Ezra’s, but sure enough, I picked this one out of the gravel. I’m sure my dad was relieved that I found something; he had been ready to go home for quite a while..
The photos after the jump will give you a better indication of scale…
I promised I would post this next, but I got excited about dinosaur tattoos on the web, so this had to wait.
The consultation was really great; Mike and I really seemed to be on the same page in regards to most aspects of the tattoo design, such as overall style, size and placement on my arm, angle of the triceratops skull, etc.
I brought in a bunch of reference material, too, including this photo of a triceratops fossil skeleton from Getty Images (photograph by Louie Psihoyos), and a bunch of photos of exotic-looking flowers like this one from a research website about the Paleobotany of Angiosperm Origins.
A full recap of the consultation in gory detail after the jump…