Thomas Hughes “Cocktail Naturalist”

Hi there, I’m Thomas Hughes, college student by day and fully engrossed natural history buff the rest of the time. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Andrew and Adam in the vivarium for the past three and a bit years to help make sure the vivarium is squeaky clean and all the animals are maintained with the best possible care.

If I could give myself a title it would most probably be, “The Cocktail Naturalist”. This isn’t because I have a great taste for unusual and exotic beverages, but more to the fact my interests are widespread, a concoction if you will. As a child, dinosaurs took centre stage; this was probably due to the fact that most of my childhood television was comprised of animated talking dinosaurs. At around the age of 8, and several dozen zoo trips later, I began to realize a likeness between dinosaurs and crocodiles.

After building a modest collection of books, mostly titled “reptiles and amphibians”, I had inadvertently delved into a world of cold blooded wonder. To this, my passion for reptiles and amphibians flourished. 

6210_113172479951_7513210_nJust turning 13, I began keeping a few poison dart frogs (Dendrobatidae), which must be maintained in naturalistic surroundings. I had then, as you most likely guessed, been introduced to the wonderful world of tropical plants. I was particularly drawn to the ones with big beautiful flowers, of the family Orchidaceae. As my reptile and amphibian collection grew, so did my Orchid collection, which had directed itself towards a group called the “Pleurothallid Alliance”.

Forest City Meteorite 10.2g (c) T. Hughes

Aged 14, I began studying Astronomy GCSE to which I found myself compelled to learn more. For the remainder of my high school years I held teaching sessions for other students taking the course. A particular subject jumped out to me, something strange, it was the study of some type of rocks. To which the title “Meteorites” was associated.

Again, I found myself hitting the google button wanting to know more. The most compelling thing for me was the theory that meteorites may have seeded the building blocks for life on earth. To this, I began to collect meteoritic samples, as a side hobby.

Well, that is my story so far. I hope in the future to enthral you with many voyages of discovery I may find myself on, any tropical plant updates, and most importantly reptile and frog stories.

I`ll be happy to answer any questions you may have, and a Happy New Year to all!

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