The narwhal features on my alphabet of strange animals. The reason behind its strange twirling horn (actually one of its teeth) has been long debated but new footage by the WWF show narwhals tapping at fish with them. See the footage here.
I’m trying something new today with this abc stuff. My goal is to communicate through images and my last entries are so wordy! I’m going to work out a style to present these amazing facts in a more fun way. More like how I would have taken notes in University lectures (those were the days…)
So here is H… fo Hoatzin
I always had hoatzin pegged for H since I found out about the wing claws! It’s like seeing a dinosaur! And I know birds are descendants… but this is stuff that I thought as lost in the sands/fossil beds of time.
If you know of any good H animals that can compete with the hoatzin then comment below 🙂
Electric eels. Not technically an eel (this guy is a knifefish) but definitely electric. It’s so unusual that it has been reclassified several times.
Growing up to 2 meters long, four-fifths of its body are electricity producing organs capable of producing a short burst at 860 volts! Not enough to kill an adult human but useful in zapping small fish, mammals, but mostly crabs and other invertebrates.
I really enjoy finding interesting colours in animals which look dull and brown at first but electric eels have that lovely orangey-red chin. Being a murky brown makes sense in the dingy swamps and rivers of South America they live in where they can disappear and sneak up on their prey. The colourful chin is darker on mature males and may be a signal to potential mates.
Other contenders for E:
- Emperor Penguin
Want electric eels laptop covers and things? Look here
Platypus had to be in here somehow!
It’s said that when a stuffed platypus was put on display in victorian britain it was thought to be a hoax. To draw it did feel I was drawing an otter’s body with a beak and surprised me that I had to get my head around the abstractness of this animal.
It is one in 5 existing mammals that lay eggs (and produces milk… so you can platypus custard – it’s a joke but it makes my insides curdle with the thought) existing in the wonderful world of eastern Australia.
It’s also venomous! Also a rare trait for a mammal. If you’re destined to be weird, be as weird as you can be and roll with it.
Find platypus on pillows and more on redbubble
B had to be for blue whale, they are the largest known animal to have ever existed on this planet. I promise not all my letters are “the biggest this” or “largest that” but the large whales have always rocked my soul. I feel humbled by them.
The blue whale can reach 30 meters in length and are surprisingly slender, until they take in a big gulp of krill and wea water and then their throat balloon out. The head is shaped like a shovel with a ridge to the blow hole. They are quite pale and look blue underwater.
Other contenders for B:
- Bowhead whale – Can live for over 200 years and are one of the longest living mammals.
- Boxer crab – Have living anemone boxing gloves which the wave around to keep predators away or face the sting of its anemone pal.
- Bowerbird – Build elaborate shelters and collect colourful objects to attract a mate.
SO you may know that I studied Zoology at University. It filled my brain with all these extraordinary facts about the animals on our planet and since my reincarnation as an artist I’ve wanted to capture the things which make me go “wow!”
Four years ago I had the idea of putting together an alphabet of crazy creatures. It’s taken four years for me to get confident in my skills and, most importantly, deciding what should be in it.
Get a print on etsy soon!
Atlas moth on leggins and other things at Redbubble
A is for Atlas Moth
I saw this amazing photo yeeeeears ago and it really hit me.
It was a moth with guts. I had never imagined a moth looking so threatening.
It’s an Atlas moth, the largest moth in the world the article told me but there seems a lot of debate on that. Regardless the Atlas moth got my A because it never left me. Also the wing tips kind of` look like snakes heads!
Other contenders were:
- Axolotl (don’t worry I squeezed this guy in with a massive cheat)
- Albatross – with the longest wings of existing birds these guys can soar around the planet for years.