Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Midnight Moon Plastic Dragon Replica

The midnight moon dragon (Draconem regium), also known as the regent dragon because of its regally colored purple scales, is a creature of shadows. During the Middle Ages, regent dragons were drawn to the majesty of the towering cathedrals of Paris, Chartes, and Salisbury. They liked to slither and snake around the spires and make their homes in crypts and catacombs where they curled up with decaying archbishops and queens. Mostly they were quiet and unobtrusive, but they hated to be disturbed and occasionally, a stray priest or acolyte would be eaten or burnt beyond recognition. Although it's a fact buried in the bowels of history, one of the main reason gargoyles began to festoon cathedrals was to keep the dragons out. 

In 1203, Sister Elisabeth of Rievaulx came across a wounded regent dragon in the crypt at Chartes. Having an affinity for all wild beasts, she nursed it back to health in secret. Dragons, while infinitely deadly, also have a strong sense of allegiance and loyalty. If you help one, they will protect you to their dying breath. This dragon was no exception, and because of their newly forged friendship, Elisabeth was able to convince all the dragons to relocate to caves in the French countryside. She and a few sisters accompanied them and became the Holy Order of Dragons. Unfortunately, the order was not sanctioned by the church and died out when Elisabeth died. Her legend survives only in folk tales and late-night fireside stories. But the dragons live on. Whenever you see movement out of the corner of your eye, but turn to see nothing, you've probably spotted a midnight moon dragon. And if you like dragons, be sure to check out our wonderful horde!

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Plastic Extinct Sea Life

If you have a fear of great whites, or guillotines, be very grateful you didn't live in the Late Devonian period. That's when Dunkleosteus roamed the world's waters in search of prey. At 33 feet long (10 m) and weighing in at a whopping 3.6 tons, Dunkleosteus could pretty much eat anything it liked. Instead of teeth, it possessed two bony blades that it used to slice prey in half, making it the animal predecessor to the guillotine. Makes great whites look like pussy cats. Almost. But Dunkleosteus is only one of many fascinating (and terrifying) prehistoric sea creatures that we have in stock. Be sure to check out all of them!

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Plastic Freshwater Fish

Call us biased (or absolutely correct), but we think everything in our store is fabulous. Even so, sometimes it's hard not to play favorites with some of the items. Our freshwater fish are beautifully detailed and perfect for almost anything you can imagine: school projects, dioramas, as place-settings at weddings or other special events, or as wonderful mementos of special fishing trips. They would make terrific gifts for the fish enthusiasts in your life. After you've finished browsing the freshwater section, be sure to check out all of our fantastic fish

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

A Murmuration of Starlings

These images of starlings are absolutely fascinating! I'm sorry we don't have any starlings in our store at the moment, but we do care about animals other than the ones we sell :-)

To see the birds we do carry in our store, click here.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Very Popular Poseable Octopus is Back in Stock!!

Pile of Octopi at Tapir and Friends Animal Store

Although it looks like an altar to an erstwhile sea god, it is only a mound of outgoing octopi. Most of the residents of this pile are winging their way to far-flung (and not so far) places around the country and globe. We hope some of them remembered their passports. If you'd like an octopus of your own, we still have 26 in stock. They are extremely popular, so be sure to place your order quickly. Once they're gone, we're not sure when we'll be able to get them back in stock again.

For the word nerds out there who might be wondering, the plural of "octopus" is most generally accepted to be "octopuses." "Octopi" is popular and widely used, but members of the Word Police might argue about its status as an actual word. If you really want to get technical, you can try "octopodes" and see what happens. As for me, I'm going with "octopi."

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Cheap Plastic Animals: 4 New Animals in the Discount Section

We've just added four new plastic animals to our very popular Discount and Bulk Category. Cruise on through and see what you can find! And, we are still offering FREE SHIPPING on orders of a ridiculously low amount. As of today, you qualify for automatic free shipping on orders of $25 in the US and $75 everywhere else. Come visit!

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Plastic Angler Fish...From Your Nightmares!

Plastic Angler Fish Toy from Tapir and Friends Animal Store

Straight from some crazy, Tim Burton-esque nightmare comes our plastic angler fish. These denizens of the deep are truly odd. They use bioluminescence or attractive lures on the tops of their heads to attract prey into their gaping maws of death, and their mating ritual involves the tiny male permanently attaching itself to the much larger female and allowing its body to atrophy. But their weirdness also makes them awesome...to us anyway. Anglers aren't the only strange creatures at the bottom of the sea; be sure to check out all our wild and wonderful deep sea dwellers today.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Very Special Teddy Bears

Handmade Bear by Sandi Tipple at 
Tapir and Friends Animal Store

What could possibly be more comforting than a teddy bear, particularly one handmade with tender, loving care? The bears we feature on our website are extra-special; made by Sandi Tipple, many of them can be found in NICUs and pediatric cancer wards snuggling up to the littlest, most vulnerable patients. We can attest that they are highly huggable and very sweet. These bears also support a wonderful cause: proceeds go directly to help offset the cost of Sandi's cancer treatments. 

Sandi also makes chemo hats and walker caddies and some very snuggly dogs. Please visit Sandi's Corner and check out her wonderful creations!

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Plastic Life Cycle Models

Our plastic life cycle models are relatively new to the gift store. We're pretty excited about them; not only are they beautiful, but they make great visual teaching aids. Made of sturdy, high-quality plastic, they can be used for homeschooling projects, as gifts for curious, scientifically-minded kids (or adults!), or school science projects. We will be expanding our selection in the next few months, so be sure to keep your eye on our life cycle section!

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

We've Got Some Exciting Things Brewing for Halloween!

Plastic Witches' Cauldron at Tapir and Friends Animal Store

Halloween is fast approaching, and this year we've got some exciting new Halloween items to add a little spook and witchy spice to your festivities. Whether you're looking for ghosts, skeletons, witches, spiders, snakes, or scorpions, we've got you covered (in cobwebs)!

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Get Your Paraceratherium Replica Here!

Paraceratherium (Indrichotherium) Replica
at Tapir and Friends Animal Store!

Do ancient animals make your heart leap? As a kid, I couldn't stay out of the paleontology books. Now you can purchase realistic replicas and create an ancient zoo in your own room. You will want to read about them, too. This is the Paraceratherium. What an interesting ancient mammal! We've just posted some new info about this critter. Click the link and learn all about them!

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Cedar Waxwing stuffed Bird Discontinued

Cedar Waxwing

Although our delightful cedar waxwing stuffed bird has recently been discontinued by the manufacturer, we wanted to memorialize it on the blog as well as keep its information intact so people can learn from it. Here is what was on our site:

Our Stuffed Cedar Waxwing with Recorded Bird Call

This soft and beautiful stuffed cedar waxwing is a member of the Audubon Bird Series with Sound. It is 7 inches from beak to tail and sits upright for easy display. This stuffed cedar waxwing has the recognizable black mask and distinctive red-tipped wings typical of waxwings. Press the button on its back and the bird plays the recorded bird call of a real cedar waxwing. This is a great gift for avid birdwatchers or a wonderful children's toy. 

About Cedar Waxwings

Have you ever wondered where the cedar waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum) gets its name? Interestingly, as the cedar waxwing matures, it develops a bright red, waxy substance on its gray wingtips, hence the name waxwing. Scientists don't know what the actual purpose is for the wax, but think it might be used for attracting mates. The fact that they like to eat cedar berries in the winter gives them the first part of their name.

Cedar waxwings are found in open habitats across North and Central America, with migration patterns ranging from Canada down through Mexico. In the fall, they will gather by the hundreds to eat berries, and in the summer they will chase insects around rivers.

There are a couple of unusual quirks these delicately beautiful birds possess. Unusually for birds, cedar waxwings can exist for several months by eating fruit alone. Due to this, they have been known to die from alcohol intoxication from eating fermenting berries. Another habit they have is theft. Because it takes up to 6 days for a female cedar waxwing to build a nest, it will steal nesting material from the nests of other birds to save time.

Even with these flaws, however, the cedar waxwing is a treasure to get to view in nature. The silky smoothness of its brown, gray, and yellow feathers just make you itch to feel them under your fingertips, but you'll just need to be satisfied with the glimpse you get from afar. 

Cedar waxwing article by Debbie Turpin

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

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