Field of Science

Happy Birthday to Me

On the 27th of May 2007, I made my very first post on Catalogue of Organisms. It wasn't very good. But I persevered, and that mediocrity has become a proud tradition. CoO is five years old today!

I'll admit, it hasn't always been easy. There have been times when I wondered if anyone ever did read this bollocks, or if I was just muttering into the digital void. According to the trackers, this site gets a bit over 200 visitors a day. True, that's a mere droplet compared to what some sites get, but then I think about it: two hundred people a day at least look at what I've written. That's a lot more than I could easily cater for, even if I was just making muffins. Sure, a fair proportion of those people probably came here as a result of a Google search for "amazing pictures of women's organisms", and won't necessarily hang around for long*, but still...

*That said, I recently noticed that I was getting regular visitors from a particular site, and when I clicked on the tracker link I discovered that I had been added to the blogroll of a collection of gay erotica. So perhaps at least someone had decided that what they'd accidentally found was of interest!

So a big thank you has to go out to the commenters on this site: your responses are the best thing about this place. Whether you're a regular like Pat, Mickey Mortimer, Mike Huben, Andreas Johansson, Kai Burington, the Watcher, Neil, Mike Keesey, Laurence Moran, Dartian, Sebastian Marquez, and many others, or whether you're a lurker, thank you for being here! (And if you've never commented before, feel free to say hello!) And a special thank you to someone who's never actually commented, but who I know reads this site sometimes: my partner Christopher, seen below in a rare photograph taken at al-Ajloun in Jordan.

On another leg of that same trip, two of the contacts that had derived from this site offered their gracious hospitality. Thank you to Mo Hassan who played the part of tour guide in the British Museum of Natural History. We talked about elephant tooth replacement, how Richard Owen deserved a bit more respect, and how the BMNH's Raphus are actually fakes made from geese (which is how they're able to have a specimen on display of a non-existent animal). Thank you also to Darren Naish and his wife Toni, who had us around for tea, where we talked about slater spiders, organising references, and a certain prominent palaeo-artist's then-recent comments on the concept of copyright.

And because, as long-term readers of this site may have noticed, I am never able to end a post appropriately, I will simply finish by saying again: thanks for reading, and hope to see you again!


  1. Congratulations - five years is a real milestone.

    And 200 visitors a day is also a fine accomplishment. It's enough to say you've got something interesting to say, but not so much to say you spend time marketing yourself.

  2. An excellent blog, and congratulations on 5 years!

  3. I am a regular reader ... I enjoy your posts very much, and look forward to many more.

    1. Me too!

      Congratulations and Happy Blogiversary!

  4. Keep up the good work! I enjoy reading about the phylogenetic and diagnostic details of everything, so your blog is always interesting.

  5. Congrats, there are only a handful blogs I still read religiously these days -- and this is one of them. Still keeping my name that bug prize in my back to redeem some day. I hope they don't expire....

  6. Congratulations on your blogiversary! CoO is dope!

    It's a good thing that you decided "to focus specifically on organisms" (as one interviewer once put it). ;)

  7. Thank you! Even when there is nothing I can comment on I find the articles fascinating.

    Only one thing, have you got a close-up of the plant behind Christopher in Jordan? ;O)

  8. Bravo! Just started reading the blog a few weeks ago, excellent info. Keep it up!

  9. I am one of the 200 and I come here for the systematics and taxonomy.

  10. Only one thing, have you got a close-up of the plant behind Christopher in Jordan? ;O)

    Can't say as I do. I suspect that it may be what is technically known as a 'weed' :-P

  11. Congrats! 5 years is quite the testament to perseverance! What you need to do is come out to Hawaii so I can show you some of this variety of life firsthand :) Cause... who doesn't like quirky insular biota?

  12. Slightly belated congratulations!

    What I especially like about CoO is the coverage of groups one, as a non-biologist, basically never hear about otherwise.

  13. Regular-ish reader from Mozambique here. Congrats!


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