Thursday, January 7, 2010


I went to the Phoenix Zoo today to photograph some animals for an upcoming art project. This was my zoo growing up, site of many an elementary school field trip. I was pretty excited to eat in the actual food court for a change today, instead of being forced to consume a cafeteria-prepared bag lunch while the smell of french fries wafted from the food court. So yeah, it was a big day.

Like most zoos, the Phoenix Zoo has lots of informative plaques and recordings to help you learn about the animals on display. But after seeing the Endangered Species Carousel, which is at the center of the Zoo, I'm not sure if I can believe any of it.

Here is a picture of the sign to prove that it is, indeed, an Endangered Species Carousel. You get the idea... all of the animals on the Carousel are different endangered species (my precious Giant Panda was shoved way in the back).

But then there is also this:

What?!! First, this isn't endangered--you can find a resin teal dragon in just about every Chinese restaurant in Los Angeles. Second, this cannot be a real species. I had to go to the Zoo's website, which provides helpful information about each animal represented on the ride. According to that, this is a "Sea Dragon." Then I Googled "endangered sea dragon" and came up with lots of info about an endangered leafy sea dragon, which looks nothing like this (think kelp with eyes). Then I Googled just "sea dragon" and came up with lots of pictures that look just like this, all of them illustrations on medieval gamer websites. Enough said.

You might want to know that the Endangered Species Carousel also features Triceratops:

No seriously, at first I wasn't sure if it was Triceratops due to the showgirl horns and all, but then I confirmed it on the same zoo website. This, of course, begs the question: How old is this ride? Cause I think "endangered" is a bit of an understatement.


  1. Oh man! I am laughing out loud. I rarely makes comments, but you always make me laugh. I have actually been to the Phoenix Zoo many times in recent years and never once noticed that this carousel was endangered species! Thanks for teaching me something and for making me laugh out loud really hard.

  2. This must be a new zoo trend (the carousel) because ours has one too. I'll have to check out the animals and make sure they're legit.

  3. p.s. As for eating in the zoo food court - I'll have to make that a special treat for my kids one day (because we NEVER spend money there - although we do sometimes buy the outrageously priced kettle corn) just so they don't feel too jipped.

  4. Just read your book. LOVED IT!! It needs to be on some bestselling list, somewhere.

  5. "showgirl horns" made me laugh out loud