Animal Adventures


Home to me for the last 13 years, Sydney is also infested with a cornucopia of tremendous beasts, some of which won’t kill you. In fact, even the ones who could try hard not to. This kangaroo, which has the mien of a sheep and is a committed herbivore, is packing some serious heat in the form of sabre-like toenails. He just elects not to use them. For now.

One Tree Island

Is this the finest place on Earth? You bet your wrasse it is. Besides, a billion terns can’t be wrong. As well as the terns, One Tree is home to countless tremendous animals, including turtles, eagles, mantis shrimps, octopus and a venomous centipede. But it’s the fish that keep bringing me back to this wonderful Great Barrier Reef paradise. On my first day there in 2007, I saw more different species than I’d seen to that date in the whole of my life.


In our quest to find the grimmest possible field site, we hit the jackpot with Lincolnshire. Moribund? Tick. Flat? Tick. Grey? Tick. Thing is, it’s actually pretty fantastic, in an unorthodox way. It continues to yield surprises, both biological and sociological, that defy rational interpretation. I like to think of it as animal behaviour’s answer to quantum mechanics. And that’s why I’ve been going back there for 15 years.


The best thing about being a biologist is coming face to face with some biology. Sperm whales and humpback whales are two of the highlights so far

Not Underwater

I don’t have to get wet to have fun. Here’s the proof. The rhino’s not dead, but it’s a sad fact that quite a few people would like to change that state of affairs to get his horn. The bear is blurred, but that’s because my hands were shaking.

Other animals

One of the best parts of going to amazing places to see tremendous animals is the chance to share it with other members of the lab…

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