My dog, Monty – and here’s a photo of him, wearing his “doggles”, which he loves because they allow him to keep looking out of the car window when we’re driving (he’s strapped in with a special seatbelt harness), without getting any flies or grit in his eyes:
He has to be my favourite animal, because he’s part of our family!
But in the ocean, when we’re diving with an underwater vehicle: comb jellies (also known as “ctenophores”) – amazing-looking animals with transparent bodies that are covered with lines of rainbow-coloured “fire” where the lights of our sub catch rows of tiny paddles that they use to swim. They are perhaps the most “other-worldly” animals I’ve encountered in the deep ocean.
Here’s a photo of one, from one of our deep-sea expeditions earlier this year:
And in the ocean when I’m living aboard a ship: whales. They often come to visit our ship when we’re working, and they are incredible – so playful, curious, intelligent, and magnificent. And you can sometimes even hear their calls and songs through the hull, when you’re lying in your bunk.
Hard to choose, but at the moment probably ducks and geese. We have a huge artificial lake on the campus here at York with lots of different kinds of both ducks and geese. At the moment they have lots of babies and they’re really cute and fluffy! Just look at this photo taken on campus last month, isn’t it gorgeous?
Kakapo parrot. They are the world’s most useless creature. They are the fattest parrot in the world, they can’t fly, they smell like an old violin case and only mate once every four years because it takes so much effort to find each other. I love them and they are a wonderful tribute to evolution and two fingers up to the idea of ‘intelligent design’.