Sunday, February 25, 2007

A day at the Oakland Zoo

And pictures of only three animals to show for it. Ah, well. At least my devotion is deep.

When I was a kid, this was my hierarchy of awesomeness:

1. Dinosaurs
2. Giant tortoises
3. Other turtles
4. Elephants
5. Whales

The only change in three decades is that giraffes have edged out tortoises as my favorite zoo animals. Still, I feel compelled to give tortoises pride of place in this post.

A passing zookeeper let us know that the two tortoises you see here are both more than 100 years old. That's pretty amazing, when you stop and think about it.

Oh, they're Aldabra tortoises, not Galapagos. Just for those of you who keep track.

We were there to see a zookeeper putting out hay for the giraffes.

This sneaky guy got caught with his hand in the cookie jar.

You might be thinking that the giraffes' stock is rising because I like sauropods. But actually, I kinda like giraffes despite liking sauropods. Giraffes are just so slender and graceful. After you've been looking at giraffes for a while, sauropods look pretty fat.

I'd still give a major bodily organ to see a living sauropod. But I would not bet on it being halfway as graceful as a giraffe.

This partial mount of the giant Cretaceous croc, Sarcosuchus, is on display in the kid's area. You can't tell from the photo, but this bad boy's skull is about as long as I am tall.

Sigh. Maybe this alligator looks so down because he knows he will never measure up to his ancestors.

He should cheer up. Crocs are still pretty boss. They can break the one ton barrier, which is more than I can say for the other half of extant Archosauria.

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Blogger Mike Taylor said...

Well, if you're going to post photos of only three animals, the n giant tortoise, giraffe, alligator is a pretty hot combination. Next three (needless to say) are elephant, rhino and hippo; after that, you're down among the so-called big cats.

6:58 AM  

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