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An evening of wine tasting with Oz Clarke, in conjunction with Chorleywood Bookshop

Date: Wednesday 16th November Venue: Sarratt Village Hall, Sarratt, WD3 6AS                                     Doors open: 7.00pm Start: 7.30pm                       Who better to take you on a journey of discovery about the history […]

Pavilion Children’s acquires first new series by Mr Men writer and illustrator, Adam Hargreaves

Pavilion Children’s acquires first new series by Mr Men writer and illustrator, Adam Hargreaves

The strengthening and expansion of Pavilion’s boutique children’s list continues with a major new acquisition from a hugely successful author and illustrator. Neil Dunnicliffe has acquired world rights, all languages, in a deal brokered with David Riley Consulting Limited for the very first children’s series by Adam Hargreaves outside the world of the Mr Men […]

Pavilion Children’s: Fresh Delivery for 2017

Pavilion Children’s has had a great 2016, launching fresh and exciting new talent with children’s book debuts by both Alice Pattullo, and leading designer Lisa Stickley, as well as welcoming back to the list more established authors and illustrators who include the wonderful David Roberts, Rosie Wellesley and Maggie Li. Take a look at our brochure […]


Giant oarfish

Giant oarfish

Regalecus glesne As the world’s longest bony fish, growing up to 55ft (17m) in length and with its splendorous crest of fin rays, it’s no surprise that the giant oarfish has been the source of many sea serpent myths. Not to mention its odd ability to swim hanging vertically as well as lying horizontally.

Duck-billed platypus

Duck-billed platypus

Ornithorhynchus anatinus One of my all-time favourites, for its complete and utter oddness. Its bizarre appearance – looking part-duck, part-beaver and part-otter – meant that the first scientists to observe one thought they had a hoax on their hands. Despite being a mammal, the platypus actually lays eggs and is one of only five types […]

Beaver

Beaver

Castor These industrious rodents are known for building dams, canals and lodges. There’s real truth to the phrase ‘beavering away’ – beavers are second only to humans in their ability to alter their environment. The largest beaver dam in existence spans 2,800 feet (853m) and is visible from space.


Narwhal

Narwhal

Monodon monoceros Often dubbed the unicorn of the sea, this mysterious whale has a sword-like spiralled horn growing out of its upper jaw, most commonly found on males. This horn is actually a tooth, one of only two the narwhal has, and can grow up to 10ft (3m) long and contains up to 10 million […]

Plumed Basilisk lizard

Plumed Basilisk lizard

Basiliscus plumifrons These prehistoric-looking creatures have a remarkable ability to walk on water. To escape predators the lizard drops from the trees onto water and, standing in an upright position on its back legs, it can run for 15ft (4.5m) or more across the surface. This is made possible by the lizard’s ingenious long toes, […]

Rajah Brooke's Birdwing butterfly

Rajah Brooke’s Birdwing butterfly

Trogonoptera brookiana With magnificent wings spanning 7in (17cm), I was initially drawn to this butterfly purely for its striking appearance. But I discovered something quite fascinating; Juvenile males can only become adult by drinking mineral water. They gather in groups of up to 80 to drink from puddles to absorb mineralized water containing the


Poison dart frogs

Poison dart frogs

Dendrobatidae These wonderful little frogs do not actually produce their own poison. Instead they get it from their diet, which includes stinging ants, centipedes and other bugs. The largest and most poisonous, the golden poison dart frog, has enough poison to kill 10,000 mice,10–20 humans, or two bull African elephants, despite being only 2in (5cm) […]

Amazonian royal flycatcher

Amazonian royal flycatcher

Onychorhynchus coronatus coronatus This delightful little bird, with its flamboyant headdress, has rather an unusual nest. Built by the female, it is an enclosed column 6ft (2m) tall with an entry hole near the top. These huge nests are suspended 16–20ft (5–6m) above water to keep them safe from predators. For a bird that is […]

Praying Mantis

Praying Mantis

Mantodea The praying mantis is proof that bugs are not always at the bottom of the food chain. Some larger species actually catch and eat lizards, frogs, and even birds. Very strangely the praying mantis has only one ear, which can be found on the underside of its belly!


Scalloped hammerhead shark

Scalloped hammerhead shark

Sphyrna lewini With its mallet-shaped head and wide-set eyes this shark really is quite a curious creature. Its eyes are placed right on the outer edges of its head, allowing a vertical 360 degree view– great for looking up and down, but means the shark has a big blind spot right in front of its […]

Northern gannet

Northern gannet

Morus bassanus Certainly one of my favourites, this magnificent seabird has a huge wingspan of almost 6.5ft (2m). It feeds by flying high above the water and circling while it looks for fish. Once its prey is spotted the gannet retracts its wings and plunges downwards, breaking the surface of the water at speeds of […]

Gerenuk

Gerenuk

Litocranius walleri The name ‘gerenuk’ means ‘giraffe-necked’ in Somali but this endearing creature is actually a gazelle. Its grazing advantage of having an unusually long neck is enhanced by its ability to stand on its hind legs. They choose to eat the juiciest shoots and leaves, which can give them all the moisture they need. […]


Dragon wrasse and Mandarinfish

Dragon wrasse and Mandarinfish

Novaculichthys taeniourus When it comes to finding lunch these clever little fish join forces. They go hunting in pairs, one lifting stones and bits of coral out of the way, the other spotting and catching the prey. Synchiropus splendidus The mandarinfish is one of the most beautiful and colourful fish in the ocean. By contrast […]

Chinese water deer

Chinese water deer

Hydropotes inermis inermis Like a little cloven-hooved vampire the Chinese water deer does not have antlers but has two tusk-like canine teeth instead, making it the most primitive of deer species. These tusks measure up to 3in (8cm) long and look much like big fangs.

Axolotl

Axolotl

Ambystoma mexicanum Looking like a big, happy tadpole with limbs, the axolotl is without doubt a very strange creature with an irresistibly cute smile. What makes it unique amongst amphibians is that it doesn’t go through metamorphosis to reach maturity. It retains its larval features throughout life, a condition called neoteny.


Coral and other curious sea creatures

Coral and other curious sea creatures

Anthozoa Often thought to be plants corals are in fact animals. They are actually relatives of jellyfish and anemones Spirobranchus giganteus This feathery little worm attaches itself by drilling down into coral and once anchored tends not to move, remaining there for its whole life, up to 40 years. Porifera Some tube and barrel sponges […]

Bactrian camel

Bactrian camel

Camelus bactrianus These quirky creatures are very resilient. The water stored in their humps allows the Bactrian camel to go for months without drinking any water. While they don’t appear the most athletic creature in the world, they can actually run at a top speed of 40mph (64kmph)!

Fennec fox

Fennec fox

Vulpes zerda Weighing in at less than 3lb (1.5kg) and measuring less than 16in (40cm), this pint-sized vulpine holds the title of the world’s smallest fox. By contrast, its ears are huge. Often measuring up to half its body length, its ears help to regulate its body temperature in the desert heat.


Giant squid

Giant squid

Architeuthis These mysterious beasts really are gargantuan. The female can grow up to 43ft (13m) long. But I think the most bizarre thing about this creature is that its esophagus passes through a hole in the middle of its brain, which is shaped like a ring doughnut. If a meal isn’t broken into small enough […]

Patagonian mara

Patagonian mara

Dolichotis patagonum Looking like a strange hybrid of a hare, a deer and a kangaroo, the very charming Patagonian mara is in fact a rodent. Its legs have evolved for burrowing and running for a quick escape, reaching a top speed of 30mph (48kmph).

King-of-Saxony bird-of-paradise

King-of-Saxony bird-of-paradise

Pteridophora alberti The male King-of-Saxony bird-of-paradise sports two extraordinary head plumes, which he uses in territorial and mating displays. These ornamental feathers grow to more than twice its body length and consist of 40–50 little flag-shape structures running along each plume.