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In the superhero lexicon, these "sounds" usually mean our hero is winning his or her epic battle with the villain of the day. The world will soon be restored to order; peace will prevail a little longer. So WHOOSH! On to the next page to learn more about the superheroes who protect their own little corner of the animal kingdom. Which animal powers would you channel?

#1 Echolocation

In the superhero world, Matt Murdock, who was blinded by radioactive waste as a child, developed a superhuman ability to sense using sound waves and became the superhero Daredevil. This gives Daredevil a 360-degree field of "vision," allowing him to precisely locate objects or people in all directions, an obvious advantage over normal vision.

Bats, despite being nocturnal animals, cannot see in the dark. Instead they have evolved a similar ability known as use echolocation to navigate and locate prey at night. The bat emits a very high frequency sound and listens for the echo that bounces off objects.

#2 Heat sensing

Pit vipers, as well as some pythons and boas, can sense the body heat of their prey from several feet away. Small pit organs on the snakes' faces detect infrared radiation, allowing them to create a thermal profile of, say, a nearby mouse.

Nerves connect the pit organs to the brain's somatosensory system, which processes the sense of touch, suggesting that the snakes literally feel the heat. In 2010, scientists identified the heat-sensing receptor molecule. The human version of this receptor is thought to be responsible for the mild burn that comes with swigging carbonated drinks, as well as the stronger burn of wasabi.


#3 Magnetic Sense

The X-Men's arch-villian Magneto can sense and manipulate magnetic fields with his mind. And some animals have a similar magnetic sense known as "magnetoreception" that they use to navigate and orient themselves. For example, homing pigeons are able to navigate back to their home lofts when visual cues are missing but can't do so when magnets are nearby. This suggests that they may use the Earth's magnetic field to navigate.

Although we don't understand exactly how they do this, pigeons have been found to possess a substance called magnetite in their beaks, which becomes magnetized when exposed to magnetic fields. So they may be following their nose, so to speak.

#4 Indestructibility

Tardigrade, aka Water Bear (Tardigrada)

These tiny, adorable creatures grow to be only a millimeter long but may be the hardiest organism on the planet (or perhaps any planet). Tardigrades are virtually indestructible. They are polyextremophiles, meaning they thrive in multiple kinds of extreme environments.

Among the things they are known to survive: Freezing temperatures as low as -200 C (-328 F), scorching temperatures up to 150 C (302 F), outer space, no food or water for over a century (or only a decade if you are a spoilsport scientist), ionizing radiation up to 570,000 roentgens (a dose of just 500 roentgens would kill you), solar radiation, gamma radiation, ultraviolet radiation, high salinity and lack of oxygen.

How can a creature so tough be so cute and cuddly looking at the same time? It hardly seems fair.


#5 Invisibility

n reality, the yellow thing in the photo above is a cuttlefish doing its best to impersonate an aquarium plant. Shapeshifting masters of camouflage, cuttlefish can rapidly blend in with the scenery to avoid predators. They can disguise themselves to look like just about anything aquatic, assuming a vast array of postures and colors -- the latter being the result of pigment-containing sacs in their skin. A cuttlefish can control the size of the sac, called a chromatophore, and change color accordingly.

The end result is a spooky feat of invisibility that's much more successful than James Bond's car.


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Our mission is to open minds everywhere and tell the stories of the Earth’s wildlife through vibrant & diverse pieces of art. Sometimes it's the animal world's turn to restore our appreciation of the world.

It’s hard to say what it is about animals that we love the most – their cute or beautiful looks, their natural innocence or the emotional reactions that they elicit from us. But whatever the case may be, one of these 5 happy animal facts is bound to bring a smile to your face.

#1 Baby elephants suck their trunks for comfort

Baby elephants do, in fact, suck their trucks just like baby humans suck their thumbs. And they do it for the same reason — comfort. When a baby elephant is not nursing, it might suck its trunk just like a human baby might suck a pacifier.


#2 Sea otters hold hands while they're sleeping so they don't drift apart

Otters are known to hold hands in groups - called a raft - while they eat, sleep and rest, to prevent families losing each other.

The furry animals, the largest member of the weasel family, are even known to wrap sea plants around them to secure the bond.


 #3 Animal behaviorists have concluded that cats don't meow as a way to communicate with each other.

It's a method they use for getting attention from humans. In cat-to-cat communication, adult cats rarely meow to each other. Kittens do more meowing as a way of saying they’re in need of something or are in trouble. Kittens seem to address most of their meows toward the mother cat.


#4 All clownfish are born male—some turn female to enable mating.

Clownfish, also known as anemonefish, are sequential hermaphrodites that first develop into males. In fact, they live in regimented schools made up of all males and just one female- the lone female being the dominant and generally the largest fish in a given group. During breeding, the female will lay sometimes thousands of eggs, depending on the species and her size, usually on a pre-cleaned rock or coral close to the anemone they live in. After the eggs are laid, the male will go along and fertilize them.

#5 The peacock mantis shrimp can throw a punch at 50 mph, accelerating quicker than a .22-caliber bullet.

The peacock mantis shrimp packs a powerful punch. The crustacean uses its hammerlike claws to smash through mollusk shells and even aquarium glass without getting injured. Now, a new study reveals what makes its claws so tough: a unique composition and structure that stops cracks in their tracks—one that could help engineers design lighter, stronger materials for military, medical, and other applications.

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