Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Plastic Trilobite

This little guy is at the roots of EVERY family tree!

Our Plastic Trilobite Replica

Made of solid plastic, this trilobite's 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 of plastic animals. Topside details include blue-gray eyes and the three ridged lobes for which it was named. The underside also shows the three segments and details of the trilobite's anatomy. It measures 2 inches wide by 3 inches long. The word "Trilobite" is embossed on the underside. Our model trilobite is made in Germany and hand painted; it comes with an informational tag in both German and English. This sturdy, durable trilobite is also excellent for school projects, novelties, party favors or even as a children's toy. Our plastic trilobite is for decoration or play only. It does not float, and should NOT be put in your aquarium with living fish or other aquarium dwellers. However, you can make a terrific ancient sea life shoebox diorama using this wonderful plastic trilobite replica.

About Trilobites

Trilobites were an early form of life on earth that have left many fossils, some of which has been made into beautiful jewelry. They appeared about 600 million years ago during the Cambrian period and ruled the earth for about 350 million years. Their descendants include centipedes, spiders, shrimps and insects. Trilobites lived in shallow seas, swimming, crawling, and burrowing. They evolved into many different forms during their reign. You can learn more about these interesting creatures at trilobite.com.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Monday, July 30, 2012


Amazing in both detail and accuracy...this replica is awesome!

Our 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.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Stuffed Flying Squirrel


Our Plush FLying Squirrel

This engaging, realistic-looking flying squirrel is soft and cuddly. The fur is lighter brown than in the photo and constrasts wonderfully with the squirrel's bright white underside. It has pink and tan fabric ears with dark markings along the rim. It has a light pink fabric nose with detailed nostrils. Our stuffed flying squirrel also has tickly whiskers. The cheeks, mouth and toes are carefully stitched. This flying squirrel makes a nice pet, or fits perfectly into a squirrel collection. Check out our other flying squirrel toys and gifts.

About Flying Squirrels

The word "flying squirrel" is a general term referring to a group of squirrels in the family Sciuridae. The flying squirrel does not actually fly, but glides from tree to tree. Steering is accomplished by adjusting the webbing in its large wing-like arms. The flying squirrel's tail serves as a stabilizer. The squirrel generally has a short lifespan since it is prey to domestic cats, raccoons and owls.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

"Living in Harmony" Tapir T-Shirt and Sweatshirt

Sharp garments for either sunny or cold weather!

Our Living in Harmony Tees and Sweatshirts

Take tapirs wherever you go! Designed by Sheryl Todd at the Tapir Preservation Fund, both shirts are a 50%-cotton, 50%-polyester blend that withstands hot-water washing. They won't shrink at all in width, and only about an inch in length. Both are standard white no-pocket shirts. The design is printed in a sort of burnt orange, the slogan and web address are printed in purple. The shirt is white and the ink colors are the same as on our tote bag of the same design. The sweatshirt has long sleeves and is not pictured. Check out our terrific selection of shirts.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Friday, July 27, 2012


The perfect addition to any undersea diorama!

Our Plastic Coral

This engaging, realistic-looking plastic coral is made of solid, flexible plastic. The body has well-defined detail. It is 2 1/2 inches tall. It represents three different types of coral, staghorn, brain and rock coral. This adds color to a sealife school project or fits in a diorama. Check out our other sealife toys and gifts.

About Corals

Corals are marine organisms from the class Anthozoa and exist as small sea anemone-like polyps, typically in colonies of many identical individuals. The group includes the important reef builders that are found in tropical oceans, which secrete calcium carbonate to form a hard skeleton. Corals can eat by stinging and capturing small fish or obtain nutrients from algae. They make up shallow reefs especially off of Australia and Hawaii.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Stuffed Mosquito

Responsible for more human deaths per year than any other animal!

Our Plush Mosquito

This engaging, realistic-looking stuffed mosquito is soft and floppy. The wings are securely sewn onto the back and are made of a shimmery fabric which reflects the light in rainbow colors. The legs are long and gangly and are made of soft plush fabric allowing for a myriad of postions. The feet have soft plastic tips. Check out our other mosquito toys and gifts.

About Mosquitoes

The word "mosquito" means "small fly" in Spanish (the word for "fly" is "mosca"). Mosquitoes (the plural can be spelled "mosquitos" or "mosquitoes") are any of a number of two-winged insects of the family Culicidae. The females suck the blood of mammals (inlcuding humans) and some mosquitoes transmit yellow fever and malaria.Usually, the "bite" results only in a small bump that becomes red and itchy for a few days. Mosquitoes feed on nectar, and neither the males nor the females need blood to survive. The blood provides protein for the development and laying of eggs. This is why only the females seek blood. The "bite" is not actually a bite. The mosquito injects a tiny feeding tube into the skin of the animal or human in order to withdraw blood. Mosquitos are believed to have evolved in the Jurassic Period (the age of large dinosaurs), but the first known fossils are from the Cretaceous Period (the last of the dinosaurs and an age when many new species began to proliferate), between 144 and 65 million years ago. There are currently about 3,500 species of mosquito worldwide. Some of their past ancestors were about three times the size of the mosquitos that live in the world today. Mosquitos usually shelter in shaded areas during the day and feed at dawn and dusk. They can also be active at night, and sometimes fly up to about 5 miles in a night.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Unicorn Jewelry

Even more rare than our patron animal, the Tapir!

Our Unicorn Pin

Made in Washington and Idaho by a team of three U.S. artists, these high-quality pins or tie tacks are unique. Each exquisitely detailed piece is cast in pewter and painted by hand. The finish is extremely smooth and shiny, as you can see by the highlight from the scanner. Each pin is secured by two sturdy tacks on the back so it doesn't skew sideways or turn upside down, and the finished product is not only gorgeous, but satisfyingly substantial in weight. They can be used as lapel pins, hat pins, tie tacks, and more. These collectible animal pins are heirloom quality, and the details are so realistic, they are found in museum gift shops and bought by organizations in need of the perfect animal to represent their group. In fact, if you're interested in having the name of your organization put on an item, write to us for details. We can also get this design for you in pewter finish, bronze plate, silver plate, or 24-karat gold plate (ask about prices).

The unicorn pin measures 1-5/8 inches from nose to tail.

About Unicorns

One of history's most recognized fantasy creatures, the unicorn was first mentioned by the ancient Greeks and became the most important imaginary creature of Europe during the Middle-Ages. Like many mythological creatures (the manticore, the griffin, and the sphinx to name a few), the unicorn is a combination of existing animal traits, combining the horn of a narwhal, the hooves and beard of a goat, the body of a horse or deer, and the tail of a lion or ox.

Many Biblical passages mention the unicorn, and unicorns appear in many Renaissance scientific journals. The horn of the unicorn is of 'Alicorn', a substance with powerful purification and medicinal qualities. Of course, Alicorn does not exist in nature, but false Alicorn powder (usually comprised of powdered tusks and antlers from many different animals) was commonly sold in Europe as late as the mid 1700's for curing many diseases and detecting and counteracting poisons. In addition, goblets made of alicorn (usually ivory) were sold and gifted to European nobility for their ability to nullify poisons in drink.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tasmanian Devil

Sorry...this one doesn't spin away in a cyclone of dust!

Our Tasmanian Devil

Our Tasmanian devil toy stuffed animal is amazingly realistic, but without the bite! It is beautifully designed and made of quality materials from Hansa. It is extremely soft with lots of cuddly fur. It has a 12-1/2-inch body and a 6-inch tail. White patches are realistically placed on the chest and body. Its legs are posable. Our taz is loving and promises not to bite. Also check out our other Tasmanian devil toys and gifts.

About Tasmanian Devils

Although ours is rather sweet looking, real Tasmanian devils are the world's largest surviving carnivorous marsupials. The body size varies greatly depending on the diet and habitat. Adult males may stand up to 30 centimeters (almost 9 inches) at the shoulder and are usually larger than the females. Tasmanian devils are widespread throughout their habitat and live from the seacoast to the mountains. They live in coastal heath, open dry forest, and mixed rainforest. They seek homes where they can hide and take shelter by day and find food at night. Mainly scavengers, they feed on whatever is available. Their powerful jaws and teeth allow them to completely eat their food, grinding up bones, fur, and all. The Tasmanian devil makes a variety of noises, from rough coughs and snarls to high-pitched screeches. A sharp sneeze is used as a challenge to other devils.

I was once fortunate enough to visit behind the scenes at the medical center of the San Diego Zoo. In the nursery they had a Tasmanian devil in an incubator, only a few days old. The tiny animal had pink skin and only a few very long black hairs. It was like nothing I'd ever seen. I guess you could say it was ugly, but then what baby animal isn't cute in its own weird way? I like them better with hair, but it was such a treat to get this unusual view of a baby Taz!

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Golden Lion Tamarin

Meet one of our cousins from Brazil!

Our Golden Lion Tamarin

Our plastic golden lion tamarin measures 1 1/4 inches long from nose to rump (not including the length of its tail). Our solid plastic tamarin has such realistic features, it can be used to illustrate school reports and projects, decorate rainforest-themed birthday cakes, used as party favors, and can be added to your rainforest or primate collection. It can also be used as a toy except for very young children (it's small). This monkey is made out of plastic that's slightly flexible, but not posable. Its name is moulded onto the bottom.

About Golden Lion Tamarins

The golden lion tamarin is a highly endangered New World monkey. It has a flat nose but its tail, although long, is not prehensile. It is found in the rain forests of Brazil and may only have 1000 individuals left in the wild. It is arboreal, diurnal and lives in small groups of about 14 individuals. It derives its name from its lion-like features. The golden lion tamarin is a reddish orange to golden brown in color. Its hair is longer and darker around the face, forming a mane on top of the head and on the cheeks and throat. Its limbs are slender yet capable with sharp claw-like nails (called tegulae), befitting its strictly arboreal life.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Beaded Baby Tapir from Guatemala

A delightful and unique hand-crafted figurine!

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.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Seahorse 3D Puzzle

Watch for our new line of fantastic 3D puzzles coming soon!

Our Seahorse 3D Puzzle

The details on this 3-D puzzle animal toy add another dimension, so you could say it is 4-D (3-D + details)! It is certainly one of the more detailed we have seen, making it an interesting replica as well as a fun toy for adults and children above the age of 3. This enchanting seahorse stands 4 1/2 inches tall and comes unassembled in a beautiful plastic nautilus shell. The pieces are cleverly fitted, flexible, and not too difficult to assemble. When completed, this splendid seahorse stands snugly on its blue plastic base for display on your shelf, TV, display cabinet, etc., along with your other favorite treasures. To see our entire inventory of puzzle animals, go to our 3-D Puzzle Animals page. Come look over our other seahorse and sea dragon toys and gifts.

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.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Plush Baby Cheetah

Run fast and collect this little guy!

Our Adorable Stuffed Cheetah Baby

Our wonderfully lifelike stuffed baby cheetah by Hansa is a toy that looks amazingly like a real animal. The plush cheetah baby is 7 inches tall sitting up as you see it in this photo. Its cute wrap-around tail is just peeking out from behind the cheetah. Our lifelike Hansa cheetah is sewn with soft plush fabric made especially to match the markings of this animal. It has longer fur around the head and down the back in a small mane like a real cheetah with shorter hair on the face and body. The spots on the head, body, tail and legs are realistic with the "signature" black markings below the cheetah's eyes and around its muzzle. Attention to detail is important with all Hansa stuffed animals, and this cheetah toy is no exception. The long, thin, whiskers and with extra-soft plastic nose help anyone bond with this cute toy. The ears have a soft light peach-colored fabric inside. Our baby cheetah has a slighly puzzled curious look, as though it is learning to explore its world. It promises to snuggle next to you and be your friend. Our baby cheetah complements nicely any stuffed animal collection. Hansa toys are modeled after animals in real life, and they tend to keep the feel of an individual animal. This is one reason Hansa stuffed animals are so collectible. Kids love them and bond with them for years to come. I've known adults that "just have to" cuddle these adorable animals, too! Each piece is hand-stictched in the Philippines by crafters willing to produce a unique item each and every time. Check out our other cheetah toys and gifts or broaden your search to all of our cats. You can also read more about Hansa stuffed animals and see our selection.

About Cheetahs

The cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) is a large feline predator native to Africa and the Middle East. Best known for being the fastest living animal on Earth, an adult cheetah can accelerate from zero to over 60 mph in three seconds, and can maintain a speed of 70-75 mph for bursts of just over 500 yards. A not so well-known fact is that cheetahs are the only felid with non-retractable claws and pads, and because of this, cheetahs cannot climb vertical tree trunks the way other cats can.

Cheetahs hunt during the day (usually in the early morning or early evening, when it's cooler), and hunt by sight rather than scent. The incredible speed of a cheetah means that a chase is over very quickly...either the cheetah succeeds, or it burns up its energy reserve and cannot continue the chase. The sacrifice of that speed is physical strength, which means cheetahs cannot defend their kills against larger predators. As such, a successful cheetah will consume as much of it's kill as it can immediately following the chase, then abandon the kill when other predators arrive.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Thursday, July 19, 2012


A best-seller is back by popular demand!

Our "Flying" 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.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Striped Shore Crab

A remarkable replica of a facinating animal!

Our Plastic Striped Shore Crab

Our striped shore crab toy or replica is made of hard plastic and measures 2 1/4 inches from side to side and 2 inches from front to back. Its name is moulded into the underside. This plastic crab is one of our series of lively and lifelike plastic crustaceans. 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 striped shore crab toy is for decoration or play only. It does not float, and should NOT be put in your aquarium. However, you can make an interesting sea-life or aquarium shoebox diorama using this and other plastic sea life and aquatic mammals, sharks, fish, sea turtles, birds, and decor from our gift shop. There is no mess, no feeding, and no tank cleaning :) Come look through our entire collection of crab toys and gifts.

About Crabs

Although there are over 50 crab families and thousandss of species, all crabs have basically the same body plan: four pairs of walking legs and one pair of claws (also called nippers or pincers). Their shell is actually their skeleton, called an exoskeleton, and protects their thorax, gills and the internal organs of the head. Like the octopus and sea star, if a crab loses a limb it will regenerate (grow back).

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Beaver Replica

A fantastic centerpiece for diorama or collection!

Our Plastic Beaver Replica

This busy beaver is one of our series of lively and lifelike plastic animals. Its realistic shape and details will be enjoyed as part of a school project, diorama, plastic animal collection, as a party favor, or gift.

About Beavers

Beavers are wonderful swimmers and also great at building dams. The dams they build are mostly used to get easy access to food in the winter time, and are also used for protection againt predators. The dams may be as large as 1,000 ft long, 15 ft high, and 25 ft thick. Not to mention the beaver is also large, a male can weigh up to 55 lbs, and a female beaver can weigh even more! The beaver is so large, that they are the 2nd largest rodent in the world next to the capybara (see stuffed and plastic capybaras in our gift shop).

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Plush Tiger Cub

Yeah, he's cute now...but wait 'til he grows up!!

Our Plush Tiger Cub

We think this plush stuffed tiger cub is exceptional. It is so lifelike and compelling, you almost won't believe its a stuffed toy and not the real thing. Although its made of synthetic materials, it looks real. Note the tufts of fur at the ears, the beautiful piercing gaze, and the delicate curly whiskers made of fine, clear filament. Each piece is hand-cut and stitched. The height (12 1/4 inches) is measured to the top of the head. Read more about Hansa stuffed animals and see our interesting selection, and come look through our entire collection of tiger toys and gifts.

About Siberian tigers

Also known as the Amur tiger, the Siberian tiger (Panthera tigris altaica) is a subspecies of tiger found in the Russian far east. This subspecies represents one of the largest cats to have ever lived on Earth, with an average male body length of over six feet and a typical male weight of 475 pounds. Siberian tigers are distinquished from other large felids by an unusually large and heavily-reinforced skull. Primary prey for the Siberian tiger include deer, wild pigs, and a small proportion of moose.

In 2005, there was a breeding population of about 250 Amur tigers in the Russian far east, with an overall population of less than 400 and declining. Intense conservation efforts to preserve the Siberian tiger have been underway for more than 15 years.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Madagascar Day Gecko

"It's not easy being green."
- Kermit the Frog

Our Plastic Madagascar Day Gecko

This engaging, realistic-looking plastic Madagascar day gecko miniature is made of somewhat flexible hard plastic. This replica has detailed skin and is painted green with a white belly. This gecko replica has red-brown spots with distinct eyes. This Madagascar day gecko miniature makes for a nice pet, fits into a shoebox diorama for a school project, or serves as a great collectible. Check out our other gecko toys and gifts.

About Madagascar Day Geckos

The Madagascar day gecko (Phelsuma madagascariensis madagascariensis) is a species of gecko found only in Madacascar. It is a large omnivorous gecko. It feeds on insects and spiders and on fruit. It can be found on tree trunks, branches and on the forest floor. Madgascar day geckos have been heavily collected in the pet trade and seem to do well in captivity. It is an attractive gecko due to the bright brick red spots its back and its distinctive splayed feet.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Hissing Cockroach

All together now...EWWW!

Our Hissing Cockroach

This engaging, realistic-looking plastic hissing cockroach is made of hard, flexible plastic. It is 3 inches long and 1 3/4 inches across from leg tip to leg tip. Our cockroach comes from Madagascar and is large with orange and black stripes. Our hissing cockroach replica is a little disgusting, but promises not to bite. 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 cockroach toys and gifts. Just to clarify, our toy cockroach does not make any noise - that's the species name of the real cockroach.

About Cockroaches

Hissing cockroaches (Gromphadorhina portentosa) are found in Madagascar and are among the largrest cockroaches in the world.They are wingless and are often 2-3 inches long. They live in rotting logs and feed on rotting material and last for about five years. It gets its name by forcing air through its breathing pores in its abdomen, whereas other insects make sound by rubbing legs together.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Baron's Green Racer

A unique and remarkable replica!

Our Baron's Green Racer Replica

This engaging, realistic-looking plastic baron's green racer miniature is made of somewhat flexible plastic with good quality. This replica has detailed skin and an attractive realistic pose. This baron's green racer replica makes for a nice pet, fits into a shoebox diorama, or serves as a great collectible. It is 5 inches long from nose to tail posed exactly as it appears in the photo. A must for your South American Reptiles project! Check out our other snake toys and gifts.

About Baron's Green Racers

Also known as the Argentine long nose snake, the baron's green racer (Philodryas baroni) is a venomous snake found throughout Argentina, Bolivia, and Paraguay. While green is the most common color, this species also can have blue or brown base color.

Baron's green racers are "rear-fanged", meaning that a toxic saliva is introduced into the victim with the assistance of enlarged teeth located in the back of the snake's mouth. These larger teeth are not in fact "fangs", meaning venom is not injected through them like a rattlesnake or cobra. While bites from baron's green racers are painful and result in unpleasant symptoms (burning pain and swelling), no fatalities to humans have been reported, and the snake is not considered to be dangerous to humans. The snake is commonly sold as a pet, and rarely expresses aggressiveness towards humans.

 This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Stuffed Rainbow Trout

The perfect gift for the fisherman in your family!

Our Stuffed Rainbow Trout

This soft and colorful plush rainbow trout 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 rainbow trout 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 trout 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 trout and fish toys and gifts.

About Rainbow Trout

Also known as steelhead, rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) are native to tributaries of the northern Pacific Ocean in both Asia and North America. Steelhead are sea run, meaning they live in the ocean but return to fresh water to spawn. A very popular game fish, rainbow trout have been introduced to waters in at least 45 countries on every continent but Antarctica. In some cases, particularly in Australia, South America, and Southern Europe, this has had a negative impact on native fish species, who are decimated by rainbow trout through predation, competition, disease, and inter-breeding.

Rainbow trout are not choosy about their diet, eating virtually anything they can grab. Young rainbow trout, called "smolts", feed mostly on insects, fish eggs, crayfish and other crustaceans, and smaller fish. As they mature, fish become more and more their standard diet. In some land-locked cases, rainbow trout have been known to become planktonic feeders, feeding on drifting algae and microorganisms.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Polar Bear Miniature

Just LOOK at the details on this fantastic figurine!

Our Polar Bear Miniature

Our polar bear toy animal is made of hard plastic and measures 3 1/8 inches from nose to extended back foot. Its name is moulded into the underside. This plastic animal toy is great for school projects, toys, novelties, animal collections, party favors and more. Our plastic bear is for decoration or play only. You can make an awesome arctic or bears of the world 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 polar bear toys and gifts.

About Polar Bears

Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) live in Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Norway, and Russia, mainly within the Arctic Circle. They are adapted for living on ice and snow, and have evolved to fill a small niche in the ecosystem. The polar bear's diet consists mainly of seals. There has been a lot in the news lately about the plight of polar bears due to the thinning ice in their Arctic home. The IUCN now lists global warming as the most significant threat to the polar bear, primarily because the melting of its sea ice habitat reduces its ability to find sufficient food. Polar bears are the world's largest carnivore species found on land. They are also the largest bear, together with the omnivorous Kodiak bear, which is about the same size.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Plastic Gazelle

A cute and useful miniature!

Our Plastic Gazelle

The markings on the gazelle pictured above most closely resemble the Thompson's gazelle. This small toy gazelle is made of solid white plastic with the colors are painted on. It measures 2 1/8 inches long from nose to tail and stands 1 3/4 inches to the tip of its horns. Although parts of the toy are somewhat flexible, it is not posable. The word "GAZELLE" is embossed on the underside. NOTE: NOT suitable for children under 3 years of age. Be sure to look over our other antelope toys and gifts.

About Gazelles

A fairly small type of antelope (2 to 3 feet high at the shoulder), gazelles (Gazella) are swift, graceful animals able to maintain high speeds for extended periods of time. Their coat is usually fawn colored and some have striking black and white markings. The horns on most gazelles curve back and in and are heavily ringed. Three species of gazelle are extinct and the remaining species are endangered to varying degrees. The most widespread of all antelope, gazelles live in herds in the African grasslands and savannas. They are also found in southwest Asia.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Stuffed Bed Bug

Good night...sleep tight...and you know the rest!!

Our Plush Bed Bug

This lovely, realistic-looking stuffed bed bug is kind and endearing. The legs and antennae are made of soft plush fabric. This allows for a myriad of postions. The body is a rose-pink with large, bulging, dark eyes. This bed bug wants to be your friend and promises not to bite. Check out our other bed bug toys and gifts.

About Bed Bugs

The common bed bug or bedbug (Cimex lectularius), like the flea, feeds on the blood of its host. It lives in crevices, carpeting and especially along the seams of matresses. The bed bug is a solitary insect, but can also live in clusters. It is a nocturnal creature, but creeps around and becomes especially active for a short period before dawn. It can be seen with the naked eye since it is usually 1/8 to 1/3 inches long. Unlike the roach, it is not necessarily associated with a filthy environment. The adult bed bug is oval-shaped and red-bown in color, often compared to a lentil. It scurries rather quickly and therefore may be hard to spot when disturbed at night. The bed bug was, for the most part, eradicated in the 1940s through the use of DDT. It is making a comeback in warmer climates, such as in Florida. Bed bugs bite when disturbed, leaving small red markings. Unlike the tick, it does not crawl under the host's skin. To avoid bedbugs, bedding should be put in the dryer and heated to 120 degrees. This will kill any eggs. Also, spraying with an alcohol-based product is allegedly helpful to kill bed bugs.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Hermit Crab

This replica is truely museum-quality! A fantastic figurine!

Our Hermit Crab Replica

This engaging, realistic-looking plastic hermit crab replica is 4 3/4 inches wide and 2 1/4 inches high. It is made of solid flexible plastic. Its legs are flexible, but not posable. The shell is made of the same hard plastic and is flexible at the front. Our hermit crab has a kindly expression and promises not to pinch. This hermit crab makes a nice pet, a gift or works well in a diorama. Check out our other crab toys and gifts.

About Hermit Crabs

There are approximately 500 different species of hermit crabs living in saltwater intertidal zones. It isn't a true crab, but has a soft belly which it protects by crawling into an abandoned mollusk shell. This behavior of living in an abandoned cave evokes the image of a hermit, thereby getting its name. As the hermit crab grows, it must find an ever larger shell to inhabit. The hermit crab is fussy about which shell it takes. It likes those that have anemones or sea plants growing on it and even decorates his shell with these living things. This provides a symbiotic relationship, food for them and they provide better security from predators through camouflage.There are land varieties of hermit crabs and, surprisingly enough, there is an organization of hermit crab pet lovers, who keep them at home in aquariums.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

American Bald Eagle

Happy Independence Day from TPF!!!

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.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Stuffed Toy Red Ant / Fire Ant

Cute and cuddly...really...

Our Plush Red Ant

This engaging, realistic-looking stuffed red ant is soft and cuddly. Its body is made of soft plush fabric and shows well-defined segments. The body is red and has large plastic eyes and fine antenna. Our red ant replica has a kindly expression and promises not to bite. This stuffed red ant makes a nice pet, gift, novelty, presentation piece for a school project,or gag gift. See our other ant toys and gifts.

About Red Ants

There are over 200 species of red ants, some small and some large. The most common red ant is known as the fire ant. It is a biting ant which grabs on and then stings with a poison called Solenposin. Fire ants live in mounds in moist open area and spend time eating plant material and occasionally a cricket. The colony consists usually of one or more queens, surrounded by drones and workers. The queen can produce up to 1500 eggs in one day.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Plastic Great White Shark

Feel like going swimming?

Our Plastic Great White Shark

This playful plastic great white shark is made hollow plastic and is 9 inches long. This replica has a detailed face and body with a shark-like smile. It has yellow eyes and a squeaker in its throat and may float and it squirks water. It makes for a nice pet, bath toy, and fits into a shark collection or serves as a great gag and is fun for all kinds of games. It promises not to bite, although because it is hollow, this shark is quite popular for use with grenadine for "Shark Attack" drinks in summer! Check out our other shark toys and gifts.

About Great White Sharks

The great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) can be found near the surface in warmer waters of the Pacific, the Caribbean, and along the coast of Africa. Great whites usually about 9 feet in length, but adults may be as much as 16 feet. They weigh around 2,000 pounds. Some sharks follow the migration of sea lions, which they find a most tasty prey. The great white has a large conical-shaped snout, a gray dorsal fin and a mottled white underside. Great white sharks, like many other sharks, have rows of teeth behind the main ones, allowing any that break off to be rapidly replaced. A great white shark's teeth are serrated and when the shark bites it will shake its head side to side and the teeth will act as a saw and tear off large chunks of flesh. Great whites often swallow their own broken off teeth along with chunks of their prey's flesh.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Beaded Lizard Keychains from Guatemala

A unique, useful gift for any reptile lover!

Our Beaded Lizard Keychains

The beading on these lizard animal 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 lizards are durable and with normal handling will hold up extremely well. The lizards are very nice looking. It was hard to get adequate photos because of the interesting angles. The eyes are bright faceted crystal-like beads which always have an angle to the light, making it look like there is life in the lizard's eyes. Each beaded lizard keychain has a skin pouch under its throat and diamond shapes on its back. Check out our other lizard items 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 Green Anole Lizards

"Anole" lizards refer to members of the family Polychrotidae. The green or Carolina anole (Anolis carolinensis) is the only anole native to North America, concentrated in he southeastern United States.

While the green anole has the ability to change the color of it's skin in reaction to mood or threat, it is not a true chameleon. The green anole can also self-amputate its tail in response to an attack, but again, it is not related to the gecko. The green anole spends most of its time in trees, hunting small insects. An influx of the Cuban brown anole into Florida and the deep south has begun to push the native green anole further north.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

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