Entries tagged with: animals

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Natalya Zahn & Oscar to Bucky

zahnbucky0.jpg I was at a loss for words as i took these pictures. The most incredibly sweet package came for Bucky today. Like mind blowing amazing. Our favorite Natural Illustrator, Natalya Zahn, and her gorgeous Rhodesian Ridgeback, Oscar, created the most thoughtful and touching package of goodies for us. From Perfect Pumpkin Pup-Treats, complete with recipe… to BUCKY WRAPPING PAPER filled with illustrations of some of his instagramed puppy moments… and a USB key with the originals and more! I can’t imagine a more beautiful way to remember our adorable NOTpuppy’s precious puppy time as he gets bigger so so fast! Take a peek at all of the loveliness on the next page!

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*notcot in design - 4 Notes

GAP Holiday Windows: Enormous Champion

gapanimals3.jpg Here’s the latest from our resident zoologist and London based editor, Justine Aw.

We spotted these gorgeous new Gap holiday window and store displays featuring elegant wooden animal silhouettes entirely by chance. They caught my eye as we passed and I immediately recognized them as giant versions of the figures I adore from the Kingom Animalia series by Brooklyn-based Enormous Champion and was thrilled when they confirmed our suspicions via twitter. I’ve always loved their work (particularly the Kingdom Animalia series) and the giant versions in store are stunning and continue throughout the children’s section, where they work perfectly (though I confess, I was mentally rearranging furniture to figure out where to fit a moose!).

The theme for Gap’s holiday windows this year is ‘Be bright’, highlighting the unexpected use of color and the Kingdom Animalia figures with their brightly colored edges helped inspire the campaign! Jason of Enormous Champion tells us: “The creative team at Gap is familiar with the wood animals from my Kingdom Animalia line and thought they’d be a perfect fit for their windows and in-store holiday presentation for babyGap and GapKids. I partnered with them to create life-size Kingdom Animalia, adding pops of neon color that relate back to the overall holiday design for Gap.”

The window displays include 4 woodland creatures (moose, deer, fox & squirrel) as well as trees and other designs. Though we spotted the windows in London, we hear they’ve since made it to stores in the US too, so keep your eyes out for these beautiful wooden woodland creatures! See more pictures of the details on the next page!

p.s. We haven’t spotted them in the US yet, have you? And what happens to these awesome creatures after the holidays end? We want to bring some home!!!

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*rugenius in nature - 2 Notes

More Than Human by Tim Flach

book.jpg The latest from London-based editor and resident zoologist, Justine Aw.

The latest book from Tim Flach has the loaded title “More Than Human” and is based on the artist’s photo series that explores the relationship between humans and animals. The book is a beautiful collection of hundreds of stunning images of a wide range of incredible creatures. In addition to the book, Flach’s ‘More Than Human’ series will also be the basis of a new show at the Osborne Samuel gallery this December and we were invited to his East London studio for a launch to celebrate the new book!

I actually discovered this amazing project through my work at the aquarium at the Horniman Museum & Gardens in London, as some of the aquarium’s jellyfish feature in the series! Here are a few photos of the photographer at work behind the scenes at the Horniman aquarium (and the stunning images he captured!). More highlights from the launch, images from the book and behind the scenes photos on the next page!

The shoot sounds like an incredible experience, bringing snakes, bats and other creatures to Flach’s Shoreditch studio as well as shooting on location at nearby sites like the Horniman as well as a wide range of locations internationally. The resulting photo series captures the beauty and individuality of its subjects and draws your eye into the beauty in the detail and structure of the individual. More highlights from the launch and photo series on the next page!

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*rugenius in nature - 1 Notes

Bob Croslin's Bird Series

bcbarnswallow.jpg The latest from London-based editor and resident zoologist, Justine Aw.

The photographs that make up this bird series from photographer Bob Croslin are striking. With clean black backgrounds and incredibly sharp focus, there are no distractions from the beautiful features of Croslin’s avian subjects. The series captures injured animals from The Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary in the Gulf Coast of Florida. The sanctuary has been helping injured birds for 40 years and has rehabilitated thousands of individuals and the species range from delicate swallows to the heftier spoonbills and pelicans. I love how the individuals look so composed, almost defiant in their portraits. See some more of our favorite images from the series on the next page!

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*notcot in design - 0 Notes

Jeremy Fish Wild Kingdom at Rotofugi

fish1.jpg On amazing show previews that came through my inbox ~ i can’t stop staring at these animals stuck in boxes from Jeremy Fish’s latest mini show, Wild Kingdom at Rotofugi! They are amazing! And the totem pole like prints are also quite fun! Take a peek at my favorites on the next page!

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*rugenius in nature - 1 Notes

The Maras of ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

maramainpic.jpg The latest from London-based editor and resident zoologist, Justine Aw.

When you first see a Mara or Patagonian cavy (Dolichotis patagonum), it’s hard to know what to make of it. It looks like a chimerical creature, part rabbit, part deer with it’s hunched posture and long slender legs. But the mara is neither! They are actually rodents and most closely related to guinea pigs. Those long deer-like legs are adaptations for running and even have hoof-like claws on the hind feet! All advantageous for foraging in their native Argentine grasslands. These little creatures can reach speeds of 45 kilometres per hour.

Maras are one of the few mammals species that appear to be truly monogamous, pairing for life and with pairs generally avoiding and fending off others of the same species. Yet curiously, maras raise their young together in communal creches! Like guinea pigs, the babies (usually 2) are born well developed with their eyes open.

We encountered this lot at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, where maras are one of three species which have more or less free range throughout the park. It’s a great place to encounter them and it’s fascinating to watch them play and forage among and between all of the other animal enclosures. We spotted a new baby too, which was the size of a young rabbit (and extremely cute!). More photos on the next page and you can find out more about these charming little creatures from ARKive!

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*rugenius in design - 3 Notes

Ben Long's Scaffolding Sculptures

deer.jpg It’s amazing what you can do with scaffolding! Ben Long creates amazing animal inspired Scaffolding Sculptures! They are “Inspired by his experiences working on building sites as a teenager, the project asserts the value of a disciplined working practice, the hard graft of manual employment and celebrates the role the construction industry plays in the advancement of urban development.” Take a peek at some of our favorites, including pieces from his Great Travelling Art Exhibition on the next page!

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*rugenius in nature - 0 Notes

Todd Forsgren's Ornithological Photographs

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The latest dose of natural inspiration from our resident zoologist and London-based editor, Justine Aw.

It’s an unusual sight for most of us, beautiful birds captured on camera, not in the freedom of flight, but tangled in the confines of mist nets. Photographer Todd Forsgren captures birds in unusual poses. Inspired by the work of Audubon, bird-watcher Forsgren’s photos shows fascinating bird species captured in mist nets, the thin barely visible nets that act like huge spiderwebs used by researchers to collect data on birds.

Unlike Audubon’s original subjects which were shot, stuffed/mounted, then painted, Forsgren’s subjects are only briefly captured by researchers before being released (after being weighed, measured and given leg rings). The photographs are poignant and beautiful glimpses at some rarely seen species in often awkward poses, which Forsgren describes as the “fragile and embarrassing moment before they disappear back into the woods, and into data”. Beautiful! See more selections from the series on the next page!

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Ross Penrose: Inside Nature's Giants

skeletal1.jpg The latest from London-based editor, Justine Aw as she checks out the press preview of New Designers 2012 Part 2, which is open to the public from July 4th - 7th.

For his BA Graphic Design course at Plymouth College of Art, Ross Penrose created a line of merchandise inspired by Channel 4’s Inside Nature’s Giants series. Ross came up with the idea when watching the fascinating anatomical series (as we all do!). I love the detailing of his work. The beautiful scale models are pre-laser cut on sheets of plywood (with gorgeous detailing!) and all come together in a single pack including a hardcover book of information about the anatomy of the species you construct! More photos on the next page.

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*rugenius in nature - 0 Notes

Butterflies on Show at Hampton Court

butterfly.jpg A little botanical inspiration from our London-based editor Justine Aw, who visited this year’s RHS Hampton Court, which is open to the public from July 3rd to 8th.

Butterflies featured prominently at this year’s RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. Two very different show gardens included butterflies in their displays, combining lepidoptera with the plants to communicate rather different messages!

Butterfly Jungles Transitions designed by Paul Allen, Lucy Hughesdon & Lydia Harvey and built by Shoots & Leaves. The beautiful garden works both as a garden and a habitat to support pollinators and which benefit both adult butterflies and their caterpillar. The garden features butterfly friendly planting such as wildflowers to prairie-style and exotic planting as well as a beautiful tropical glasshouse filled with exotic butterflies in a jungle-style habitat that is filled of nectar rich species as well as food plants.

Las Mariposas (Hopes of a Nicaraguan girl), an unusual garden designed by Robert Kennett and built by Greenhaven Landscapes focuses less on the entomology and more on the symbolism of butterflies, representing Amnesty International’s Butterflies of Hope campaign for women in Nicaragua, contrasting between the muted colors of the grasses surrounding the bright pink cube and the vibrant colors of the plants and butterflies within.

More photos of both of this year’s butterfly-featuring show gardens on the next page!

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*rugenius in design - 0 Notes

Hayley Dix's Wire Wonderland

hayleydix-newdesigners-2012-3631.jpg The latest from London-based editor, Justine Aw as she checks out the press preview of New Designers 2012, which is open to the public from June 27th-30th.

Another highlight from New Designers this year was the Wire Wonderland series from Hayley Dix. The beautiful wireframe birds look like charming, whimsical drawings perched on real branches! They are both abstracted and natural at the same time. More photos of the adorable woodland creatures on the next page!

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*rugenius in nature - 0 Notes

Tiny Pheasant Chicks!

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The latest dose of natural inspiration from our resident zoologist and London-based editor, Justine Aw as she shares some of her work with London’s largest city farm, Mudchute Park & Farm.

We’ve had Wyandotte chicks and little mandarin ducklings, but the latest brood are the tiniest little precocious chicks yet. Fitting comfortably in an espresso cup, the latest arrivals are golden pheasants (Chrysolophus pictus), an ornamental breed native to the forests in mountainous areas of western China.

You can also see the little chicks on the Mudchute Farm blog and be sure to visit the them at the farm, where they are currently living in a brooder near Pets Corner. Lots of hatching pics and video on the next page!

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*rugenius in wearable - 0 Notes

Gilliland's Weird and Wonderful Jewelery

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The latest from London-based editor, Justine Aw as she checks out the press preview of New Designers 2012, which is open to the public from June 27th-30th.

One of my highlights from Part 1 of New Designers this year was the beautiful jewelry of Kate Gilliland. Her Weird and Wonderful series plays with ideas of death and beauty, turning tragedies into beautiful, wearable works of art. Celebrating the beauty of natural history, Gilliland turns everything from tiny toads to mouse vertebrae into lovely cufflinks, necklaces and other jewelry. Her bird’s feet necklaces are hauntingly beautiful! More photos of Gilliland’s work on the next page.

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*notcot in home+decor - 0 Notes

Lladró's latest Parrot Party

parrot1.jpg I’ve loved the Lladró Parrot Party collection since they first debuted in 2010 and i saw them in person at ICFF… well, their latest additions i just saw at Dwell On Design are adorable as well! The Parrot Vanity mirror is especially tempting! They have also added the Parrot Romance and Parrot Treasure. See them all on the next page!

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*rugenius in wearable - 1 Notes

Emma Montague's Mandibular Eyewear!

montague-RCA-2012-2971.jpg The latest from London-based editor, Justine Aw as she checks out the press preview of Show RCA 2012. The show opens to the public on the 20th of June and closes on the 1st of July.

As a natural history enthusiast who spends her spare time surrounded by skeletons, I was intrigued when I recognized cervid mandibles at the jewellery section of the Show RCA 2012. These incredible sunglasses are the work of Emma Montague of the Goldsmithing, Silversmithing, Metalwork & Jewellery department. Emma was inspired by the relationship between the shape of the jaw bone and sunglasses when she put her Ray Bans down beside a mandible (as you do!). The result are a beautiful series of sunglasses made from black horn, the jaw bones of deer and acetate. They are the byproduct of trophies and in the collection, Emma marries luxury and decay and the raw with the refined. As for the mandibles? They come from the deer culled by The British Deer Society. More photos of the series on the next page!

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*rugenius in nature - 0 Notes

Illustrations by Sophie Alice Wiltshire

illmug0.jpg The latest from London-based editor, Justine Aw as she checks out the press preview of Show RCA 2012. The show opens to the public on the 20th of June and closes on the 1st of July.

Another highlight from Show RCA 2012, is the work of ceramist and illustrator Sophie Alice Wiltshire. Wiltshire’s beautiful illustrations make gorgeous mugs and stunning tiles! Her illustrations are inspired by visits to the incredible spirit collections at the Natural History Museum, London (which are my favorite collection there too!). More photos of her beautiful natural history inspired pieces on the next page!

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*rugenius in nature - 0 Notes

How to Hatch Your Own Eggs

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This post is sponsored by Bing. Only Bing brings the best search and the best people from your favorite social networks, like Facebook and Twitter, together to help you spend less time searching and more time doing.  It’s amazing what you can do when your friends are part of your search.

Lately, you’ve seen our Wyandotte Chicks and our Mandarin Duckling swimming ~ our incredible editor and resident zoologist, Justine Aw, has been busy adding poultry hatching and running a nursery for adorable baby chicks and ducks at home on top of her busy tasks with NOTCOT lately! So when Bing approached us to sponsor posts to share some of our expertise, this seemed like an amazing opportunity to share what the whole team here at NOTCOT has been learning about how to hatch poultry from Justine! So read on to see what she has to teach us! (As well as lots of fun pictures and videos!)

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*rugenius in nature - 1 Notes

Duckling Swimming Underwater!

duckmain.jpg The latest dose of natural inspiration from our resident zoologist and London-based editor, Justine Aw.

As a little side project, I’ve been helping hatch poultry for the always wonderful Mudchute Park & Farm and our most recent arrivals have been two beautiful Mandarin ducklings. You can find out more about their incubation and see the eldest just after hatching on the Mudchute blog.

Ducklings should be introduced to water early on as these mandarins would naturally have jumped from their nest in a hole in a tree and headed straight for the water with their mom. So we got a paint tray (they’re ideal because they are fairly shallow and graded, allowing the ducklings to get in and out of the water on their own and introduced the ducklings on their first day post-hatching. I expected the little ducklings to paddle contentedly at the surface, but to my surprise, the youngest duckling dove right in and began swimming underwater (more like you might expect from a gannet, puffin or penguin!). She does it in a crazed frenzy, swimming madly around, completely submerged then leaping out of the water entirely! It’s all a mad blur in real time, but photos capture the frenzy (and mess), her expression almost reminds me of the portraits of dogs underwater. More photos of our adorable little duckling splashing around on the next page!

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*rugenius in nature - 1 Notes

From Tadpole to Toadlet

toadlet-main.jpg The latest dose of natural inspiration from our resident zoologist and London-based editor, Justine Aw.

This spring, I had the opportunity to raise a number of toads from tadpole and track their development along the way! Metamorphosis is always fascinating and it’s incredible to see how much they change as they grow on their journey from tadpole to toadlet! More photos and video on the next page.

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*rugenius in nature - 0 Notes

Breeding Jellyfish at the Horniman Aquarium

mainjelly.jpg The latest dose of natural inspiration from our resident zoologist and London-based editor, Justine Aw.

In addition to showcasing beautiful displays, the staff of the aquarium at the Horniman Museum and Gardens also conduct fascinating research into the species in their collection, including coral reef diseases and embryonic development. The team have shared some gorgeous photos from their research into the breeding of Moon jellyfish (Aurelia aurita) with us and they provide a beautiful insight into this very complicated life cycle! More photos of the beautiful and otherworldly looking phases of developing jellies on the next page.

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*notcot in nature - 0 Notes

Gallery 1988 Melrose: Memes

ohnoes.jpg New show just went up at Gallery 1988 Melrose: MEMES! Yes, all the ridiculous internet silliness inspiring art! My favorite… Leontine Greenberg’s two pieces, Oh Noes and They be stealin’ my bucket”, inspired by the LOLrus and Bucket meme… see the original on the next page… and the full show here.

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*rugenius in nature - 0 Notes

NOTCOT Supports: Penguin SatCam

mainpenguins.jpg Introducing NOTCOT Supports, a new series of posts where we put our money behind projects we love! This one comes from our resident zoologist and London-based editor, Justine Awtoday we have just adopted a penguin colony in Antarctica!.

That’s right, at the NOTlabs we still have our Puma Penguin Army… so now, we’ve just adopted our very own real life Antarctic penguin colony and hope to bring you updates from colony NOTCOT! It’s all part of an awesome new project by my former Zoology colleague Tom Hart, a self-described ‘penguinologist’ who has done some amazing research into penguin behavior and conservation over the past few years. Antarctica is the perfect environment for penguin colonies, but as the highest, driest, coldest continent on earth, it isn’t the easiest or most accessible to researchers. After piloting time lapse data collection, Tom is now looking to set up a series of time-lapse cameras in Antarctica and link them to a satellite phone, enabling researchers to gain access to remote areas accessed by humans only once every five to ten years. You can find out more about Penguin Lifelines and how to help this exciting new penguin research via the penguin cam RocketHub page where you can adopt a penguin colony yourself and even get the opportunity to go out to Antarctica for a mission!!!

We look forward to bringing you updates from the NOTCOT colony in the future, but in the meantime, here is some of that incredible footage from the team. Love the serenity of Antarctica and the stark contrast between the real time footage and frenzied time lapse of five months of furious penguin activity (and serious weather!).

Join us in supporting the Penguin Satellite Camera Project here, and see more pictures of the penguins and adventures on the next page!

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*rugenius in nature - 2 Notes

From Egg to Chick

chicks.jpg The latest dose of natural inspiration from our resident zoologist and London-based editor, Justine Aw.

Incubating your own eggs is something a lot of kids get to do in school, but something I’ve never actually done myself, so I was very excited to get the chance to incubate our own little brood! It was a fantastic birthday-present of sorts with a borrowed incubator and permanent home in the country all lined up.

I’ve always been fascinated by livestock breeds, so we’d thought a lot about what types of breeds we’d be after (those considering poultry in the UK, but confused about breeds should make a trip down to the incredible Domestic Fowl Trust). With a few favorites in mind, we were happy to find a few local breeders and picked up 6 Wyandotte hatching eggs (3 silver-laced and 3 gold-laced). We documented their 21 day journey from eggs to chick and hope you enjoy their journey as well as a live stream of the chicks as they grow over the next week or two! See it all on the next page!

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*rugenius in nature - 0 Notes

Violet Oil Beetle and the Oil Beetle Hunt!

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The latest dose of natural inspiration from our resident zoologist and London-based editor, Justine Aw.

Despite being a zoologist, I confess, I wasn’t 100% sure what this amazing creature was when I first caught sight of it. A bright glint of blue and purple in the sunshine, it didn’t fit with its surroundings and the Londoner in me immediately dismissed it as a stray bit of foil or plastic. But then we noticed it was moving on its own, waddling along in a very exposed position at the edge of a Dorset field.

On closer inspection, it looked a bit like a rove beetle with its half-sized elytra (those hard outer wings), but it far larger and more iridescent than any rove beetle I’d ever seen (some 30mm long)! So we snapped a few photos of the beautiful beetle for ID, then popped it back on the soil, where it started to dig. Check out our photos and find out more about these beautiful and fascinating insects on the next page!

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*rugenius in nature - 1 Notes

Behind the Scenes at the Horniman Museum

mainhorn.jpg The latest dose of natural inspiration from our resident zoologist and London-based editor, Justine Aw.

I am privileged to give you a glimpse behind the scenes at the Horniman Museum. I’ve been volunteering behind the scenes with the Horniman’s natural history department for the better part of a year now and never cease to be amazed by the depth of the collections that extends far beyond the specimens on display to the public.

For those not familiar with the museum, the Horniman is a true South London gem that combines stunning gardens with an outstanding range of collections including anthropological artifacts, musical instruments, natural history collection and aquarium. Though it seems to be missed off the typical London museum list, it’s definitely worth a trip south of the river. Where else can you find so many incredible collections under one (architecturally gorgeous) roof? But I digress! today’s look at the Horniman isn’t about the parts typically on display to the public (though you should definitely check them out). instead, it’s a glimpse at the Horniman’s off-site Study Collections Centre, which is only occasionally open to members of the public during tours, but a place I’m lucky enough to get to work! Take a peek through loads of pictures behind the scenes on the next page!

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