Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Stuffed Harbor Seal



Another amazing item for your stuffed animal collection!

Our Stuffed Harbor Seal


This beautiful stuffed harbor seal is soft, cuddly, and big enough to really hug! Well-constructed by Wild Republic, this plush seal features realistically-detailed tail and flippers. Its claws are constructed of stiff foam and are not sharp or harmful. He has such a sweet expression on his face! Truely a remarkable addition to any stuffed animal or aquatic animal collection, or just a great gift for the animal lover in your life! Check out our other seal toys and gifts.

About Harbor Seals


Harbor seals are aquatic mammals located in the temperate and arctic oceans of the Northern Hemisphere. Also known as the common seal, these creatures are the most widely distributed animals of their kind (walruses and other seals). Adult harbor seals can reach a length of over 6 feet, and can weigh as much as 370 pounds. Females give birth to a single pup per successful mating, which they care for alone. Harbor seal pups are able to swim within hours of birth. Harbor seals feed primarily on fish and occasionally on crustaceans, squid, and even seabirds.

There are an estimated 5-6 million harbor seals worldwide, which means that, as a species, they are stable and not threatened. In some cases, it is legal to kill harbor seals to protect commercial fisheries. Even so, harbor seals are protected from commercial hunting by many nations in their range, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Norway. Their population off the East Coast of the United States has grown significantly in recent years, and they've been sighted in New York Harbor, Boston Harbor , and as far south as Florida.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Soft Play Floating Latex Pufferfish



Amazing how he can say "Gimme a hug" and "Go away" simultaneously!

Our Soft Play Floating Latex Pufferfish


This engaging, realistic-looking soft play latex FLOATING pufferfish replica is made of foam inside and a latex exterior. It is 9 inches from lips to tail, 7 inches wide and shaped like a bouncy ball, and to me it looks bigger than it sounds by the measurement. Maybe that's because it's so yellow and bright! This replica is soft and squishy and but returns to its original shape. You can even bounce it! It is neither sharp nor poking.This pufferfish toy is a little bit cartoonish like the pufferfish in the cartoon movie "Finding Nemo," but it still serves as a great example for a science project, a gag or toy, or serves as a collectible. Our soft play latex pufferfish is for decoration or play only. Even though it floats, it should NOT be put in your aquarium even if it would fit! Check out our other reef fish toys and gifts and our growing collection of soft play floating, bouncing, squeezable animals!

About Pufferfish


Pufferfish or puffer fish are a common reef fish and are found in warm tropical waters. Many are highly poisonous to the touch and should be avoided. They have large external spines and large, sharp front teeth, which are used to crush mollusks and crustaceans. They are slow swimmers and coordinate the movements of the caudal, anal and pectoral fins, which can give them short, speedy thrusts to elude predators. They have excellent vision, but if caught, can expand in the mouth or stomach of the predator and give it a nasty, possible lethal injection of poison. Some Japanese people consider pufferfish a delicacy, but it requires a special, delicate preparation. I personally would not try it.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Stuffed Red Tide Algae Replica



How can something this cute be dangerous?

Our Red Tide Algae


This strange-looking stuffed red tide algae is an unusual replica. It is 5 inches round and is made of burgundy and red fabric and has large plastic eyes and wears a sympathetic expression. If you aren't an algae lover, you will be after you own these adorable little fellas. I am not sure you'll want to put it in your tub though! This plush red tide algae toy makes a nice pet, a gift, toy or gag and could work well for a school play or show-and-tell as a school science project. Check out our other aquatic plant toys and gifts.

About Red Tide Algae


Red tide algae is more commonly known as harmful algal bloom or HAB. These plantlike organisms form in the water column and cause a discoloration of the water color, but doesn't always discolor the water red. This plankton bloom is not effected by the tides. The multitude of organisms can cause the depletion of oxygen and this can be harmul to marine animals, especially fish. Red tide is also potentially harmful to human health. Humans can become seriously ill from eating oysters and other shellfish contaminated with red tide toxin.The cause of red tides is controversial. Red tides occur off coasts all over the world and have occurred for thousands of years. Not all red tides have toxins or are harmful.

The Tag on Our Red Tide Says:


FACTS: Red tides occur when environmental conditions allow certain types of algae to multiply so rapidly that they end up tinting the water! (Although algae come in a variety of colors, algal blooms are typically caused by reddish organisms.)

While in many cases blooms are not harmful, Alexandrium tamarense produces a neurotoxin that can kill. Initial symptoms include tingling, numbness, and a burning sensation of the lips and tongue. As the poison progresses, a rash, loss of motor control, behavioral changes, difficulty breathing, and, without treatment, even death can occur.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Stuffed Channel Catfish



You don't have to get wet to land this fantastic replica!

Our Stuffed Channel Catfish


This soft and colorful plush channel catfish toy is well-made and realistic in both color and appearance. Wonderfully detailed and 17 inches long, this isn't your typical stuffed animal! This channel catfish is stuffed with both soft fiber-filler and beans, allowing it to sit upright on it's belly. A fantastic gift for the fisherman, conservationist, or collector, this plush catfish replica would also make a wonderful addition to a school project, a theatre prop, a wildlife decoration, or simply to snuggle up to! Check out our other freshwater fish and fish toys and gifts.

About Channel Catfish


The most numerous North American catfish species, channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) are also the most fished catfish species, being targeted by approximately 8 million anglers every year. A weight of 2-4 pounds is common, and weights of 10-20 pounds are not unheard of. The world record for weight in a channel catfish was set in 1964 at 58 pounds.

Channel catfish have outstanding senses of taste and smell. They have taste buds spread over their entire body, and can literally taste with their skin, particularly around the whiskers or barbels located near their mouth. These keen senses allow the channel catfish to find its prey in murky, dark, cloudy water, where vision is useless. Channel catfish are omnivorous, and have been known to be caught on such unconventional baits as bubble gum, soap chunks, and dough flavored with drink powder.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Orca (Killer Whale) Eyeglass Holder



A fantastic gift for the family oceanographer!

Our Orca Peeper Keeper


Made of carved and painted wood, the orca killer whale is 5 inches tall.
What a classy way to keep your reading or sunglasses from getting lost on your coffee table, bedside table, hall shelf, etc. You can also use this functional sculpture to display business cards with pizazz and pride!
"Peeper Keepers" are fun and practical, and come in over 40 different animal types. See our other Peeper Keeper animals here. Come look through our entire collection of orca toys and gifts.

About Orca


The orca is a toothed whale and the largest member of the dolphin family, growing up to 33 feet long and weighting up to 12,000 pounds. It has mostly black skin with distinctive white patches. The male has a taller and more upright dorsal fin than the female. These cetaceans live their entire lives in small, close-knit family groups, called pods, of 6-40 whales. Males can live up to 60 years, females up to 90.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Stuffed Wolf



Your pack will howl for this delightful replica!

Our Plush Wolf Pup


This engaging, realistic-looking stuffed wolf is soft and affectionate-looking. Its legs are made of plush hair and are sewn together to replicate a lying position. The body and head are light gray and light tan with black around the muzzle and ears of the wolf's head. Our wolf is probably a cub. He has a kindly expression and promises not to bite. He makes a nice pet, a gift, or fits perfectly into a stuffed animal collection. Check out our other wolf toys and gifts.

About Gray Wolves


Our beautiful stuffed wolf appears to depict a young gray wolf (Canis lupus), which is also known as a timber wolf. The adult is the largest wolf, about 3 feet in length and weighing about 100 pounds. It once roamed freely throughout North America and Eurasia, but hunting and habitat destruction has taken a significant toll on the wolf population. Great efforts have been undertaken to reintroduce the wolf to areas of the Northwest and Idaho with cooperation of ranchers, who see the wolf as a threat to livestock, especially sheep. The wolf is incredibly adaptable to climate and terrain and can travel long distances. It can withstand frigid temperatures and can be found in snowy mountains, high deserts and plains. Its claws and padded feet are designed with special webbing for hanging on to slippery surfaces. Wolves have bulky coats consisting of two layers. The first layer is made up of tough guard hairs designed to repel water and dirt. The second is a dense, water-resistant undercoat that insulates. The wolf is a special animal to be appreciated by all. It has been valued by native people in their art and religion.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Realistic Free Diver



Look who's back and looking for adventure!!

Meet Freddie, the Freediver!


Freddie is an adventurous, outgoing lad who enjoys nothing more than visiting the vast aquatic regions of the world. Equipped only with fins, a mask, and unlimited curiosity, Freddie explores ocean reefs, lake bottoms, and submerged rock formations, all on a single gulp of air! Wanna come freediving with Freddie? Take a deep breath! Come see our SCUBA diver and sealife accessories and the many aquatic animals and fish our divers like to swim with! All are perfect for your shoebox diorama or as additions to your empty (no real fish) fish tank!

About Freediving


In general terms, freediving describes any aquatic activity that involves submerged swimming without the assistance of a breathing apparatus. To various degrees, freediving includes breath-hold diving, breath-hold spearfishing and hunting, snorkeling, breath-hold underwater photography, and the various sports of competitive apnea.

Humans were diving in the ocean’s depths long before the invention of mechanical breathing apparatus. Around the world, people used freediving to collect both food and products for sale. To this day, freedivers like the Korean haenyeo and the Japanese ama divers continue to ply their trade without the assistance of SCUBA or rebreathers. As a source of recreation, freediving is an activity that allows the participant to determine the level of adventure, activity, and relaxation they experience, based on their level of physical fitness and interest.

As a competitive sport, freediving has evolved many recognized disciplines, most of which involve depth, distance, or time submerged as the goal. Two world associations, AIDA International and CMAS, govern this sport and recognize nine specific disciplines, while another dozen disciplines of freediving are only practiced locally. All disciplines can be practiced by both men and women.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Realistic Plastic Horned Toad



Add this wonderful replica to your collection or diorama!

Our Plastic Horned Lizard


Our plastic horned lizard (or horned toad - we called them horny toads where I grew up in California) is about 5 1/4 inches from the side of its turned head to the tippy end of its pointed tail. It is made of softish plastic and is even puffed up somewhat with air so that when you squeeze the belly it almost feels like a real horned toad! This little toy is so realistic, it looks for all the world like a real animal and is about the same size as its living relative. Check out our other horned lizard models, toys and gifts. We have an inviting collection of interesting reptile species!

About Horned Lizards


Also popularly referred to as horned toad, horny toad, or horned frog, the horned lizard (Phrynosoma) is neither a toad nor a frog, although its blunt nose and round body make it resemble toads. Although unrelated species, the horned lizard is structurally very similar to the Australian thorny devil…so much so that the two species are considered an excellent example of convergent evolution (the evolution of similar biological traits in unrelated species). Eight of the fourteen North American species of horned lizard are native to the United States.

The horned lizard feeds primarily on ants and other insects, remaining still and allowing their prey to come to them. To defend themselves against predators, the horned lizard has evolved many interesting traits: camouflage, skin bristling with hard knobs and spikes, the ability to balloon their body and appear larger and harder to swallow, speed coupled with the ability to suddenly and completely stop (throwing off a chasing predator), and in at least four species, the ability to spray an aimed stream of blood from their eyes.

 This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Tropical Fish Eyeglass Holder



Let this beautiful fish keep an eye on your spectacles!

Our Tropical Fish Peeper Keeper

Made of carved and painted wood, the tropical fish is 6 inches tall, 7 inches long.
What a classy way to keep your reading or sunglasses from getting lost on your coffee table, bedside table, hall shelf, etc. You can also use this functional sculpture to display business cards with pizazz and pride!
"Peeper Keepers" are fun and practical, and come in over 17 different animal types. See our other Peeper Keeper animals here. If we don't have an animal you're looking for on our web site, please ask! Be sure to look over our other fish peeper keepers.

About Butterflyfish

Also coalled the beak coralfish, the copperband butterflyfish (Chelmon rostratus) is common around coral reefs in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. They can grow to nearly 8 inches in length in the wild, but domesticated butterflyfish rarely grow longer than 4 inches.

 This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Plastic Seagull



I've got one lookin' in the window at me right now!

Our Plastic Seagull


This engaging, realistic-looking flying plastic seagull is soft and floppy. Its body is made of hollow plastic and is detailed with feather etchings. It is 14 inches from wingtip to wingtip and is 7 inches from beak to tailfeathers. It is painted white with gray accents, has a yellow beak, orange tongue, and yellow feet. When squeezed, our seagull also makes its familiar squeaky call. It can be suspended by its attached elastic cord. It makes for an interesting ornament, table setting, or serves well in a diorama or school project. Check out our other seagull toys and gifts.

About Seagulls


Our beautiful flying plastic seagull reminds us that the seagull is a coastal bird that rarely ventures far out into the ocean. Closely related to terns, it is a carnivorous scavenger, which picks at almost anything organic. It loves small fish and crustaceans which it snatches from the surface. It swims on the top of the water, but does not swim underwater. It is an intelligent bird with a myriad of calls and, like most birds, outstanding eyesight. The adult gull is gray and white in color, whereas younger gulls are a mottled light brown. The Pacific gull (Larus pacificus) has a continous presence here at Tapir and Friends. It wheels above us and perches on rooftops outside our windows. His calls accompany our work and our play.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Plastic Mud Crab



Wanna shake hands? Didn't think so!

Our Mud Crab


This engaging, realistic-looking plastic mud crab is both solid around the outside (yet slightly flexible) and hollow at the center with a squeeker inside. The legs are are about 7 1/2 inches wide and are both dark green and black. This crab floats. The body is about 3 inches long and 1 inch thick. This crab makes a nice pet, a gift or is useful for a diorama. Check out our other crab toys and gifts.

About Mud Crabs


The most common mud crab (Scylla serrata) is generally a mangrove crab but can also refer to several similar crabs found in mud throughout the world. Some mud crabs are large crabs with a smooth, broad carapace. They have 9 even sized teeth on each side of their eyes. Their two hind legs are flattened for swimming. In the most common form, the color varies from very dark brown/black to mottled green. Mud crabs inhabit sheltered estuaries, the tidal reaches of some rivers, mud flats and mangrove forests. These crabs are found scuttling along a soft, muddy bottom, often below low tide level. Some are harvested commercially especially in Australia but, for the most part, they make excellent bait for larger agressive fish.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Plastic Galapagos Shark



Looking for a unique centerpiece to your science project? Here it is!

Our Plastic Galapagos Shark


This exotic Galapagos shark is one in our series of lively and lifelike plastic animals found in the Galapagos Islands. Its realistic shape and details will be enjoyed as part of a school project, diorama, plastic animal collection, as a party favor, or gift. Our plastic Galapagos shark measures 3 1/2 inches from nose to tail. Be sure to see our other shark toys and gifts.\

About Galapagos Sharks


The Galapagos shark (Carcharhinus galapagensis) is found around the warm waters of the Galapagos Islands, but not exclusively. It seems to follow warm currents into the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific oceans. It is related to the requiem shark. It has a grey to black top, a white belly, and a black tail edge. It is primarily a bottom feeder and can be found at depths of 60 feet. It is often as much as 10 feet long. The Galapagos shark has been threatened due to fishing, but is not considered endangered at this time.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Stuffed Pelican



A lovable and unique addition to any collection!

Our Plush Pelican


Our stuffed pelican is a sheer delight. It is 15 inches from its floppy brown and pink cloth beak to its wiggly fur tail. It is 7 inches from wing-tip to wing-tip. It has a cute tuft of hair on the crown of its head and its plastic eyes are surrounded by bright pink material. This stuffed pelican makes a perfect companion for a child or fits wonderfully into any stuffed animal collection.

About Pelicans


A pelican is any of several very large water birds belonging to the family Pelecanidae. Birds in this family have a distinctive pouch under the beak. They occur mostly in warm regions, but pelicans also frequent the cooler water off the Pacific Northwest (United States and Canada), especially in the summer months. They are large birds with an amazing pouched bill. Pelicans often fly as a flock. They have excellent eyesight. They dive well and can also swim. Fishermen watch for pelicans, since they locate bait fish with such ease. They often catch fish by expanding the throat pouch. Then they must drain the pouch above the surface before they can swallow. This operation takes up to a minute, during which time other seabirds are particularly likely to steal the fish. Large fish are caught with the bill-tip, then tossed up in the air to be caught and slid into the gullet head first.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Stuffed Hyena



His bite is DEFINITELY worse than his bark!

Our Plush Hyena


Our stuffed hyena is lifelike and sturdy. Hansa prides itself on making lifelike animals of near-custom quality and design. The materials are made to order for small-run series of your favorite animals. Our stuffed spotted hyena measures 14 inches from nose to rump and stands 8 1/2 inches tall at the shoulder. Its nose is made of moulded hard plastic and looks very real. The eyelids are also made of plastic, giving a lifelike aspect to the face. See our other hyena toys and gifts as well as our collection of Hansa stuffed animals.

About Hyenas


One might think that hyenas are related to dogs, but they are actually in a separate biological family most closely related to meerkats and mongooses. Hyenas have among the strongest jaws in the animal world. According to Wikipedia, "The Spotted Hyena, or Laughing Hyena, (Crocuta crocuta) is a mammal of the order Carnivora. They are moderately large, terrestrial carnivores native to Africa. They are best known for a chirping, birdlike bark that resembles the sound of hysterical human laughter. Though often labeled incorrectly as a scavenger, the spotted hyena is actually a powerful hunter, the majority of its nourishment being derived from live prey. Spotted hyenas are the most common predator in sub-saharan Africa, living in savannah, dry woodland and desert habitats."

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Plastic Frilled Lizard



We've all had days that made us feel this way...

Our Plastic Frilled Lizard


This engaging, realistic-looking plastic frilled lizard miniature is made of somewhat flexible plastic. This replica has a detailed face and body and is painted olive green with a pink mouth. It is 2 1/2 inches to the end of its tail and stands 2 inches highplastic frilled lizard makes for a nice pet, fits into a shoebox diorama, or serves as a great collectible. Check out our other lizard toys and gifts.

About Frilled Lizards


The frilled lizard (Chlamydosaurus kingii) has a large ruff of skin around its neck. The neck frill is supported by long spines of cartilage, and when the lizard is frightened, it opens its mouth showing a bright pink or yellow lining, and the frill flares out, displaying bright orange and red scales. It often walks on all four legs, but when frightened can run on its hind legs. Frilled lizards are found in Australia and New Guinea in savannah woodlands where they eat small insects, especially grasshoppers.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Plastic Dragonfly



Nature's answer to the helicopter!

Our Plastic Dragonfly


This engaging, realistic-looking plastic dragonfly is made of hard, flexible plastic. It is 2 1/2 inches long and 2 1/4 inches across from wing-tip to wing-tip. Our plastic dragonfly has clear plastic, detailed wings and a red and yellow segmented body. We don't know what kind of dragonfly our plastic dragonfly replicates, but if you do, please e-mail us. It works well for a shoe box diorama or other school projects. It also makes for an interesting party favor or for a gag. Check out our other dragonfly toys and gifts.

About Dragonflies


A dragonfly is an insect belonging to the order Odonata. It is has large multifaceted eyes, two pairs of strong, transparent wings, and an elongated body. Dragonflies eat mosquitoes, midges, and other small insects like flies, bees, and butterflies. They are valuable predators, since they help control populations of harmful insects. Dragonflies are usually found around lakes, ponds, streams and wetlands because their larvae, known as "nymphs", are aquatic. Dragonflies do not normally bite or sting humans, though they will bite in order to escape, if grasped by the abdomen. Dragonflies hover above the water, but then can rapidly accelerate. They capture their prey by clasping them in legs studded by spikes. We are most familiar with the adult stage of the dragonfly, but most of their life is spent as a nymph below the water.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Beaded Baby Tapir from Guatemala



We just got more of these delightful figurines in!

Our Beaded Baby Tapir


It was another one of those very lucky days when Catherine Todd (same last name, no relation) contacted me about taking some of our plastic animals to Guatemala so the artisans could craft beaded animals with the plastic replicas as a realistically-shaped base. The subject at hand was camels, but we thought it would be fun to make some beaded tapirs as well. Imagine my delight when these cute animals came back in the mail, their plastic bodies covered in shiny seed beads stitched together into a brand new creation. You don't find beaded tapirs just anywhere, trust me! I've looked! When you purchase one of these unique animals from our collection, you help in a number of ways. You help save tapirs, because that's what we do. You help the local artisans in Guatemala who need an outlet for their work (yes, jobs!), and you help my new friend Catherine with her sustainable business of working with the artisans of Guatemala to maintain jobs for themselves and make beautiful art for many people around the world to enjoy. Check out our other tapir items as well as our page of beaded animal art!

About Baby Tapirs


Baby tapirs are some of the most adorable and engaging animals on Earth! There are four species of tapir, and the babies of all species are marked with their distinguishing spots and stripes. The stripes on our beaded baby tapir do not match those of any particular species, so you can imagine it's whichever species you like best. Baby tapirs are quite friendly and lovable. They can stand and walk almost immediately, and they quickly begin to explore their world with amusing curiosity. It takes a gestation period of about 13 months for a pair to produce one baby. Can you believe that? It's one of the longest gestation periods among mammals. Even horses give birth after about 11 months. Because only one baby is born per pregnancy, and because the gestation period is so long, the tapirs are said to have a long "recruitment period." This means that for every tapir that is killed in the wild (or that dies of natural causes), it takes a very long time to replace that animal. This is one reason why hunting and destruction of habitat are so devastating to the Earth's dwindling population of tapirs. You can purchase this beaded tapir, take it home, and be proud not only to have a beautiful, unique, hand-made work of art, but also to know that your purchase keeps the Tapir Preservation Fund going so we can support tapir conservation in the field.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Stuffed Toy Woolly Mammoth



A truely magnificent animal from Earth's past!

Our Plush Woolly Mammoth


We think this stuffed woolly mammoth toy is exceptional. It is so lifelike and compelling. Although it is made of synthetic materials, it looks real. This beautifully detailed woolly mammoth measures 16 long, 6 1/2 inches wide and 12 inches high to the top of the head. The animal's tusks are made of soft short-napped fabric. The designer of this unique line of stuffed animals takes pride in the European heritage of his realistic animal design. Each piece is hand-cut and stitched.

This is not your ordinary stuffed animal. Our plush woolly mammoth has the charm and quality you'll want to keep for a lifetime. It is the kind of toy your child will remember for years to come. It is the kind of "pet" a young child will want to name and create his or her own stories about.

The literature says, "The magical kingdom of Hansa plush was originally created for the most exclusive European clientele. Europeans have treasured these lifelike heirloom creatures for over twenty years. . . . Each Hansa piece is a handcrafted masterpiece, lovingly designed from portraits of real animals. The 'skin' for each of these marvelous beasts is hand-cut and trimmed, never stamped out by machine. The fabric for spotted and striped animals is custom designed and specially manufactured in small lots to Hansa's exacting specifications."

To find our other Hansa stuffed toy animals, or see our entire inventory of stuffed animals, stuffed beanies and plush hand puppets, check out our Stuffed Animal Page. Be sure to see our other mammoth- and elephant-related toys and gifts.

About Woolly Mammoths


The woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius) is perhaps the best-known species of mammoth. The earliest bone records of this species are around 150,000 years old, and it went extinct over most of its range approximately 10,000 years ago. A race a dwarf woolly mammoths existed on Wrangel Island off the coast of Russia until roughly 3700 years ago. Amazingly, many specimens of woolly mammoth remains are not fossilized, but are frozen organic matter.

Fully-grown woolly mammoths could be as tall as 13 feet and weighed nearly 9 tons. It’s named for the thick coat of shaggy hair which could grow to over three feet in length and was probably shed in the summer months. Unlike modern elephants, the woolly mammoth had numerous glands under its skin that secreted fatty grease into the mammoth’s hair. These characteristics, along with a typical fat layer nearly three inches thick, gave the woolly mammoth excellent insulation against both wet and cold weather conditions.

 This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Beaded Seahorses from Guatemala



More exquisite artistry from Guatemala!

Our Beaded Seahorse


The beading on these beautiful seahorse keychains is securely stitched into a woven fabric of beads and is very sturdy. Unlike some beaded animals I've seen that are beautiful and engaging but very delicate, these seahorses are durable and with normal handling will hold up extremely well. Check out our other seahorses as well as our page of beaded animals and beaded keychains from Guatemala. When you purchase one of these unique animals from our collection, you help in a number of ways. You help save tapirs, because that's what we do. You help the local artisans in Guatemala who need an outlet for their work (yes, jobs!), and you help my new friend Catherine with her sustainable business of working with the artisans of Guatemala to maintain jobs for themselves and make beautiful art for many people around the world to enjoy.

About Seahorses


The yellow seahorse (Hippocampus kuda ) is one of the most common seahorses and is also known as the Common Seahorse, Spotted Seahorse, or Oceanic Seahorse. . It is found mainly in the Pacific and the Indian Ocean. It has a short crown, which is directed backwards. It is found in shallow water of not much more than 30 feet. They can be found in mangroves, coastal seagrass beds, estuaries, coastal bays and lagoons, harbors, sandy sediments in rocky littoral zones, and rivers with brackish waters. Seahorses pair for life. They are poor swimmers and generally remain anchored to rocks using their prehensile tails.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Plastic Ladybug



A ferocious predator in the garden, and good luck in the home!

Our Plastic Ladybub


This engaging, realistic, plastic ladybug is made of hard durable plastic. It is 1 1/2 inches long and 1 1/8 inches wide. It makes a good replica in a shoe box diorama or for any school project. It is also an excellent party favor. Check out our other ladybug toys and gifts.

About Ladybugs


The ladybug is a general term of a family of beetles, Coccinellidae, with over 5000 species. In some parts of the world they are called ladybirds or lady beetles. They are small, about 3/8 inch and are generally orange,scarlet or yellow with black spots on their wing covers. This bright coloration acts as a defense mechanism against predators, who associate it with toxicity or acrid odor. In fact, the ladybug secretes an oily yellowish substance from its leg joints when roughly handled. The ladybug is a useful insect since it eats garden pests such as aphids, mites, and mealybugs. It is fun to find them and watch them crawl about, but sometimes they can be a household pest as well. I have seen them hatch by the hundreds.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Plastic Octopus



Equally at home in the science project or toybox!

Our Plastic Octopus Replica


Check out the details of this wonderful octopus by Safari Ltd. Its superior design and details make it a museum-quality replica or collector's item, and yet the price puts it in range for the average collector. It can also be used as a toy. It's very sturdy and is made of solid plastic. Note the textured body. The underside even has sucker feet and a parrot-like beak in the center (small in this photo, but clear on the item). Your animal comes with an information card. Come look through our entire collection of octopus toys and gifts.

About Octopi


Octopi are cephalopods that can be found in rocky areas especially among coral reefs in the oceans throughout the world. The octopus has 8 arms which trail behind it when it swims. It is considered to be the most intelligent animal of all invertabrates. It emits a cloud of inky substance as a defense against predators as well as possessing a venomous bite. Most octopuses have a short life span of no longer than six months.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Stuffed Harbor Seal



Who wouldn't want to snuggle up to this cute little guy?

Our Stuffed Harbor Seal


This beautiful stuffed harbor seal is soft, cuddly, and big enough to really hug! Well-constructed by Wild Republic, this plush seal features realistically-detailed tail and flippers. Its claws are constructed of stiff foam and are not sharp or harmful. He has such a sweet expression on his face! Truely a remarkable addition to any stuffed animal or aquatic animal collection, or just a great gift for the animal lover in your life! Check out our other seal toys and gifts.

About Harbor Seals


Harbor seals are aquatic mammals located in the temperate and arctic oceans of the Northern Hemisphere. Also known as the common seal, these creatures are the most widely distributed animals of their kind (walruses and other seals). Adult harbor seals can reach a length of over 6 feet, and can weigh as much as 370 pounds. Females give birth to a single pup per successful mating, which they care for alone. Harbor seal pups are able to swim within hours of birth. Harbor seals feed primarily on fish and occasionally on crustaceans, squid, and even seabirds.

There are an estimated 5-6 million harbor seals worldwide, which means that, as a species, they are stable and not threatened. In some cases, it is legal to kill harbor seals to protect commercial fisheries. Even so, harbor seals are protected from commercial hunting by many nations in their range, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Norway. Their population off the East Coast of the United States has grown significantly in recent years, and they've been sighted in New York Harbor, Boston Harbor , and as far south as Florida.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Plastic Toy Butterfly



A beautiful decoration, prop, or collector's piece!

Our Plastic Red Butterfly


This engaging, realistic-looking plastic butterfly is made of soft, flexible plastic. It is 2 1/4 inches long from front wingtip to rear wingtip. Our red butterfly may represent a true tropical butterfly, but we are not sure enough to call it one. If you can identify it, please e-mail us. It works well for a shoe box diorama or other school projects. It also makes for an interesting party favor. Check out our other butterfly toys and gifts.

About Butterflies


Butterflies are from the order Lepidoptera. They represent the adult stage of the insect with the caterpillar being the larval stage. This represents an amazing metamorphisis in nature. Some species can fly long distances and are important in the pollination of many plants. It has been suggested that butterflies are bitter in taste so birds tend to leave them alone. Without many predators, some butterflies can overpopulate an area and be a lovely pest to agriculture.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Plastic Caterpillar



Looking for a centerpiece to your biology diorama? Here it is!

Our Plastic Caterpillar


This engaging, realistic plastic caterpillar is made of hard durable plastic. It is 2 3/8 inches long including feelers. Our caterpillar resembles the larva stage of the luna moth. It makes a good replica in a shoe box diorama or for any school project. It is also an excellent party favor. Check out our other caterpillar toys and gifts.

About Caterpillars


A caterpillar is the larval form of a member of the order Lepidoptera, the insect order comprising butterflies and moths. Like other insects, the caterpillar consists of three body parts, the head thorax and abdomen. The thorax and abdoment are segmented. They have three pairs of true legs on the three thoracic segments, up to four pairs of prolegs on the middle segments of the abdomen, and often a single pair of prolegs on the last abdominal segment. There are ten abdominal segments. Caterpillars breathe through slits in their thorax and abodmen which are called spirales, and move along by flexing a series of approximately 4000 muscles. They also have remarkably good eyesight, since they have six small eyes on each side of their head. Of course, they are voracious plant eaters and are viewed as a pest to crop growers. Caterpillars have developed all kinds of defense mechanisms against predators. Some have spiny, stinging hair, others put off a noxious odor. In any case, caterpillars are amazing creatures, especially in the way they transform into butterflies or moths.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

American Bald Eagle



A beautiful addition to any American history project!

Our Plastic American Bald Eagle


Made of solid plastic by Safari, Ltd., one of the best names in plastic toy animals, this american bald eagle measures 3 1/4 inches from beak to tail and is 2 3/8 inches tall. It stands balanced on its feet and tail. The word "EAGLE" is molded on the bottom. This sturdy, durable raptor is also excellent for school projects, novelties, party favors or even as a children's toy. You can make a wonderful birds of prey shoebox diorama using this and other plastic creatures from our gift shop. Best of all, there is no mess, no feeding, and no tank or cage cleaning :) Come look through our entire collection of eagle toys and gifts.

About American Bald Eagles


Bald eagles are large predatory sea birds who follow waterways to reach inland areas. They are found only in North America. Bald eagles can fly up to 30 mph, and can dive up to 100 mph.This explains why they are so adept at snatching fish out of the water with their feet. Mature bald eagles generally weigh between 9-12 pounds, with a wing span of about 7 feet. Bald eagles mate for life. A female usually lays 2-3 eggs a year. By three months of age, her young are able to fly, and are often on their own a month later. Bald eagles reuse their nests, adding more nesting material each time it is reused. Because of this, some nests reach as much as 10 feet across, and can weigh as much as 2000 pounds. Strict conservation efforts have enabled the bald eagle's status to be upgraded from "endangered" to "threatened" in the lower 48 states.

In May 2004, we visited the Point Defiance Zoo in Tacoma, Washington. One of the most interesting parts of our visit was the VERY GOOD animal presentation at their outdoor stage. One of the animals they presented was a beautiful bald eagle. We learned that when the eagle was named, the word "bald" didn't mean "hairless" as it does now; it meant someone with white hair. Now the eagle's name makes more sense! Below you can see a photo of the eagle I took that day at the presentation, where we were allowed to get close to the animals at the end of the talk. By the way, if you get a chance to visit, it's a really nice zoo in a marvelous natural setting. And be sure to see the animal presentation!

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Plastic Ant



One of nature's hardest workers!

Our Plastic Ant


This engaging, realistic-looking plastic black ant is made of hard, flexible plastic. It is 2 inches long and 1 1/2 inches across from leg tip to leg tip.. Our black ant may represent a carpenter ant, but we are not sure enough. If you can identify it and are certain, please e-mail us. It works well for a shoe box diorama or other school projects. It also makes for an interesting party favor or for a gag. Check out our other ant toys and gifts.

About Carpenter Ants


Carpenter ants are of the genus Camponotus and are known as carpenter ants because they live in colonies in galleries they excavate in wood. Carpenter ants do not eat the wood they remove during their nest-building activities, but deposit it outside entrances to the colony in small piles. The wood is used solely as a nesting site. The galleries of carpenter ants are kept smooth and clean and make easily used runways. Carpenter ants are active indoors during many months of the year, usually during the spring and summer. When ants are active in the house during late winter/early spring, the nest is probably within the house. When carpenter ants are first seen in the spring and summer (May/June), then the nest is likely outdoors and the ants are simply coming in for food. The natural food of the ants consists of honeydew from aphids, other insects, and plant juices, but they will readily forage for water and food scraps within the house.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Plush Pteranodon Hand Puppet



A fun and unique gift idea!

Our Stuffed Pteranodon Hand Puppet


This playful stuffed pteranodon hand puppet is made of extremely soft plush material. This replica has a detailed face and body with an imaginative-looking expression. The head is small, about the size of a child's hand. It is a tight fit to get your hand in to manipulate the head and beak, but doable. The hand puppet is 14 1/2 inches from beak to horn.. This plush pteranodon hand puppet makes for a nice pet, fits into a stuffed animal collection or serves as a great cuddly friend and is fun for all kinds of games. Check out our other dinosaur toys and gifts.

About Pteranodons


The pteranodon is not really a dinosaur but a winged reptile. "Pteranodon" means "winged and toothless." These flying reptiles were closely related to dinosaurs, but were technically not included in the same group. They lived during the late Cretaceous Period - one of the great ages of dinosaurs. Pteranodon stood about 6 feet tall (and some scientists believe they did stand upright), and had a wingspan of 25 to 33 feet - longer than any known bird. They had short tails, as you can see on our plastic pteranodon replica. Most pteranodon fossils have been found in Kansas and in England. Pteranodons fed primarily on fish, and may have scooped them out of the water the way a modern-day pelican feeds.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Plastic Scorpion



Back after a long absence!

Our Plastic Scorpion


This engaging, realistic-looking plastic scorpion is made of hard, flexible plastic. It is 2 1/4 inches long and 1 7/8 inches across from leg-tip to leg-tip. Our plastic scorpion is dark brown in color with detailed segments. It works well for a shoe box diorama or other school projects. It also makes for an interesting party favor or for a gag. Check out our other scorpion toys and gifts.

About Scorpions


Scorpions are found in warm regions. They are arachnids, and therefore more closely related to spiders than to insects. They are found not only in the desert, but also in forests. They spend much of the day under logs and leaf litter, and feed mostly at night on spiders and insects. Most scorpions are only painful to humans and are not especially dangerous, although a few can deliver a fatal sting. Children and elderly people are more at risk from their venom than strong, healthy adults. The approximately 2,000 species of scorpion vary widely in size, from about 1/2 inch to 7 inches long. Our plastic scorpion is may be a black fat tail scorpion, (Androctonus bicolor), characterized by its black color, bulky pincers and large tail. Individuals of this species are considered dangerous. Many species have become over-collected in the wild and are now "a CITES-listed animal, meaning it is threatened with extinction if exportation and other threats, such as development, are not regulated." [Wikipedia]

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Plastic Lop Eared Rabbit



Second-Cousin to Bambi's best friend, Thumper!

Our Plastic Lop Eared Rabbit or Long Eared Rabbit


This engaging, realistic-looking plastic lop eared rabbit miniature is made of somewhat flexible plastic with good quality. This replica has detailed fur and an attractive realistic pose and sharp eyes. This lop-eared rabbit replica makes for a nice pet, fits into a shoebox diorama, or serves as a great collectible. It is 1 1/2 inches long and is reddish-brown in color. Check out our other rabbit toys and gifts.

About Lop-Eared Rabbits or Long-Eared Rabbits

T
he lop-eared rabbit or long-eared rabbit is the oldest breed of domesticated rabbit. These rabbits originated in England, were then raised in Europe - especially in Holland, and later became popular in America in the 1970's.There are eight different breeds. They were at first bred for meat but later became exclusively a show rabbit. These long-earred rabbits can be kept at home and be trained to use a litter box, but they like chewing on things, so care must be taken not to give them access to electrical cords. Unfortunately, lop-eared rabbits have lost their ability to move their ears independently. They are unable to use hearing as a way to detect potential threats, unlike their erect-eared cousins. This does not mean that lop-eared rabbits do not hear as well. It just means that lop-eared rabbits cannot rotate their ears to capture as many sounds. In a domestic situation, this rarely causes any problems for the lop-eared bunny. The ears are also used to release body heat to keep the bunny cool.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Plastic Cownose Ray



Another absolutely amazing aquatic replica!

Our Plastic Cownose Ray Replica


This engaging, realistic-looking plastic cownose ray miniature is made of somewhat flexible plastic with good quality. This replica has detailed skin and an attractive realistic pose. This cownose ray replica makes for a nice pet, fits into a shoebox diorama, or serves as a great collectible. It is 8 1/4 inches long. An exquisite replica of an amazing creature! Check out our other ray and skate toys and gifts.

About Cownose Rays


A species of eagle ray, the cownose ray (Rhinoptera bonasus) is located throughout a large part of the western Atlantic ocean and the Caribbean. Males are nearly three feet across and can weigh as much as 36 pounds. Cownose rays feed primarily on invertebrates like clams and oysters. it has no teeth, using rigid dental plates to crush food sucked into its mouth. It's common for groups of cownose rays to travel together, using their flapping wings to stir up sediment and expose buried shellfish.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Plastic Praying Mantis



Look who's back at TPF!!!

Our Plastic Praying Mantis


This engaging, realistic, plastic praying mantis is made of hard durable plastic. It is 3 1/2 inches long to the ends of its feelers and legs.. It makes a good replica in a shoe box diorama or for any school project. It is also an excellent party favor. Check out our other praying mantis toys and gifts.

About Praying Mantises


The praying mantis is a general term describing any of 2300 species of mantises in the order Mantodea. The word mantis comes from the Greek meaning "prophet." The insect derives its name because it looks like it is kneeling in prayer. The word "praying" is often confused for the word "preying". In this regard, the praying mantis is a voracious and skillful predator. It seizes, with amazing swiftness, other small insects. Prey are held firmly in spiked forelegs. The praying mantis can elongate its thorax and leave the rest of its body almost stationary to provide amazing flexibility of movement. It has excellent vision as well, and can turn its head almost 300 degrees. Best of all, the praying mantis is a master of camouflage. It looks like the plant in which it is hiding. This aids in its ability to ambush and also protects itself from its own predators. It is generally a diurnal insect, since it relies heavily on vision, but it sometimes move to a new territory at night.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Stuffed Aardvark



Soft, cuddly, and definitely unique!

Our Plush Aardvark


Our wonderfully realistic-looking stuffed aardvark by Hansa is a toy that looks amazingly like a real animal. The plush aardvark is 12 1/2 inches from nose to rump. Its tail adds another 10 inches to its length, and the pink fabric-covered tongue is posable and holds its position when you move it. The tongue is about 1 1/2 inches long. It is sewn with soft plush fabric with extra-soft white tufts around the eyes, ears, and chin. There are four toes on each front foot and five toes on each back foot. This is a good thing, because aardvarks are known for digging! It has gentle hard plastic eyes (black pupils with a ring of gold for the iris) pinkish brown inside the ears. Our stuffed aardvark replica has a kindly expression and promises to snuggle next to you. This aardvark makes a wonderful gift for stuffed animal lovers and complements nicely any stuffed animal collection. The fabric is produced in small batches and is chosen especially for this animal. Each piece is hand-stictched in the Philippines by crafters willing to produce a unique item each and every time. Check out our other aardvark toys and gifts.
Read more about Hansa stuffed animals and see our selection.

About Aardvarks


Aardvarks (Orycteropus afer) are African mammals of a medium size that are most active at night and are good at burrowing into the earth. Their name, "aardvark," comes from the Afrikaans/Dutch language and means "earth pig." This unusual-looking animal has many names locally, including "antbear" or "anteater," although it is not a close relative of the anteaters of South America. Neither is it closely related to a pig, but is somewhat isolated taxonomically and is the only member of the order Tubulidentata. It is not a true edetate, although we've listed it with our edentates on the web site so that people could find it. As odd as it sounds, the aardvark is most closely related to elephant shrews, hyraxes, tenrecs and elephants. If we had put the aardvark in our elephant category, would you have found it? It's a strange thought!

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Plastic Carabiner Toucan Flashlight



A fun and useful gift!

Our Carabiner Animal Flashlights


Our carabiner animal flashlights are the coolest way to make sure you always have a light nearby! Look at the tail, they simply open up to snap onto a key ring, backpack, belt, book bag, or anyplace else a person can hook something. The light is surprisingly bright for such a small item! Keep one next to your bed, by the back door, inside your car or on your bike. The light is bright enough to find things in the dark - such as finding the lock on your house or car door. Helps keep both kids and adults safe when unexpected scenarios come up. Just press the button on the critter's back, and you have light! Is there a better way to find the outhouse on a camping trip than to let our flashlight animals find the trail for you? Or what about lighting your way on Halloween? Fun for birthday parties, as stocking stuffers, or Hanukkah gifts for any age. Check out our other bird toys and gifts and our multi-style animal flashlights. The animal flashlights page also shows you what the lights look like when the light is on! If you have a teeeeeny little screwdriver, you can pop in a replacement battery. However, we've noticed that the lights last for quite a long time on the original battery.

About Keel-Billed Toucans


Toucans are brightly-colored birds with distinctively-large bills, primarily located in Central and South America, Mexico, the Caribbean, and southern Florida. Toucans are omnivores, feeding primarily on fruits, eggs, insects, and small birds and reptiles. Both the male and female share responsibilities in caring for their clutch of 2-4 eggs, taking turns seated on the clutch to incubate their young. The large bill (usually 1/3 of the bird’s total length) is made of spongy, hollow bone struts covered in keratin, a hard protein that also makes up hair and nails in mammals.

Also known as the sulfur-billed and rainbow-billed toucan, the keel-billed toucan (Ramphastos sulfuratus) is typically 12-22 inches long and weighs under a pound. Keel-billed toucans are found from southern Mexico to Venezuela and Columbia.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Plastic Honeybee



'Tis good luck if one lands on you, then flies away!

Our Plastic Honeybee


This engaging, idealized, plastic honeybee is made of hard durable plastic. It is 1 5/8 inches long and 1 3/4 inches across the wings. It makes a good replica in a shoe box diorama or for any school project. It is also an excellent party favor. Check out our other honeybee toys and gifts.

About Bees


Bees are insects, having six legs, a head, thorax and abdomen. Honey bees can be found worldwide. They live in hollw trees as well as in hives kept by beekeepers. The social behavior of these bees is very complex. The colony is made up of the queen bee, drone bees, and worker bees. The lifespan of the queen bee is usually two to three years. Worker bees are sterile female bees who collect, produce, and distribute honey, and also maintain the hive. These bees have pollen buckets on their hind legs as well as pollen scrapers to make their job easier. Worker bees are able to sting, but they die shortly afterwards. Honey bees help to pollinate flowers and crops and produce honey. Of the approximately 20,000 species of bee, fewer than 20 are considered true honey bees. These are classified in the genus Apis. "The first Apis bees appear in the fossil record at the Eocene-Oligocene boundary, in European deposits dating about 35 million years ago" according to Wikipedia. This does not mean that honey bees originated in Europe, but only that they were there at that time.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Plastic Green Iguana



An amazing creature...both as a pet and in the wild!

Our Plastic Iguana


This engaging, realistic-looking plastic iguana miniature is made of somewhat flexible plastic. This replica has detailed skin and is painted green and black. It may be a green iguana indigenous to Central and South America. This iguana makes for a nice pet, fits into a shoebox diorama, or serves as a great collectible. Check out our other iguana toys and gifts.

About Iguanas


Green Iguanas can grow to 7 feet in length, most which is from their excessively long tail. Males also have a large flap called a dewalp which make them appear even larger. If an iguana is grabbed by the tail from a predator, it will snap off and grow back without harm to the iguana. Green iguanas have amazingly adaptable fingers and claws designed for climbing. Iguanas also hear superbly. Iguanas are diurnal and can be seen basking in the top branches of trees. They can fall 40-50 feet without getting hurt. Their skin is tough and water resistant. Green iguanas are ominivorous and live often in groups. They hatch many eggs in burrows which they abandon. Little iguanas are born and grow without any parental assistance. Iguanas are threatened by hunters who prize their meat.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Stuffed Fawn



The perfect gift for the collector!

Our Stuffed Fawn


We think this stuffed fawn toy is exceptional. It is so lifelike and compelling, you almost won't believe it's a stuffed toy and not the real thing. Although it is made of synthetic materials, it looks real. This wonderfully detailed baby deer measures 23 3/4 inches long, 9 1/2 inches wide and 13 inches high to the tips of the ears. The designer of this unique line of stuffed animals takes pride in the European heritage of his realistic animal design. Each piece is hand-cut and stitched.

This is not your ordinary stuffed animal. Our plush deer baby has the charm and quality you'll want to keep for a lifetime. It is the kind of toy your child will remember for years to come. It is the kind of "pet" a young child will want to name and create his or her own stories about.

The literature says, "The magical kingdom of Hansa plush was originally created for the most exclusive European clientele. Europeans have treasured these lifelike heirloom creatures for over twenty years. . . . Each Hansa piece is a handcrafted masterpiece, lovingly designed from portraits of real animals. The 'skin' for each of these marvelous beasts is hand-cut and trimmed, never stamped out by machine. The fabric for spotted and striped animals is custom designed and specially manufactured in small lots to Hansa's exacting specifications."

As time permits, we will be adding more of this unique line to our gift shop. If you're looking for an animal and don't find it on our site, please write to us. To find our other Hansa stuffed toy animals, or see our entire inventory of stuffed animals, stuffed beanies and plush hand puppets, check out our Stuffed Animals Page and Stuffed Beanies and Plush Puppets Page. Check out our terrific selection of deer, elk and moose toys and gifts.

About Deer


Deer are herbivore mammals of the family Cervidae. Many species of deer exist on every continent except Australia and Antarctica, including the white-tailed, red, fallow, roe, chital, and Chinese water deer. Also included in the Family Cervidae are elk, moose, and reindeer. Deer typically weigh 70-600 pounds. They have slender frames and powerful legs, which make them exceptional runners, jumpers and swimmers. The earliest deer fossils date back to the Oligocene epoch, over 23 million years ago.

All male deer and female reindeer have antlers, bony forked appendages that grow from their heads. The only exception to this is the Chinese water deer, which has tusks. Antlers are shed and grow back annually. This makes them different from horns, which are permanent.

Deer have had a significant economic, cultural, and spiritual impact on humans throughout history. From the earliest European cave paintings to Walt Disney's movie "Bambi," Kate Seredy's book The White Stag, and Nintendo's Pokemon "Stantler," deer have captured our imagination. To this day, deer are pursued for sustenance, immortalized in heraldry and popular culture, and revered by belief systems old and new for their speed, strength, and nobility.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

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