I am currently reading my way through a long list of science fiction and fantasy titles. (http://www.npr.org/2011/08/07/138938145/science-fiction-and-fantasy-finalists if you are interested in the list).
The history of life thus consists of "long periods of boredom interrupted occasionally by panic."
"I sought a career in herpetology because I enjoy working with animals," Joseph Mendelson, a herpetologist at Zoo Atlanta has written. "I did not anticipate that it would come to resemble paleontology."