Pavilion Books has been awarded The Bookseller International Achievement Award for the second year running at the IPG Awards 2017. ‘Pointing to the way Pavilion capitalised on the success of its Millie Marotta colouring books by building in new markets including India and South Africa and also reinvigorating backlist sales in the US, the judges said: […]
Buceros rhinoceros Rhinoceros hornbills nest in cavities or holes high up in old or dead trees. A pair will wall up the hole with mud and droppings, the male on the outside and the female inside, eventually trapped within. He feeds her through a slit in the wall while she incubates the eggs.
Hystrix cristata This spiky fellow is one of the largest rodents in the world, weighing up to 66lbs (30kg), and growing to almost 3ft (1m) in length. If the sight of its 33cm (13in) quills are not enough to deter a predator, it stamps its feet, clicks its teeth and shakes its tail quills. If […]
Moths are often overlooked in favour of their more colourful cousins, the butterflies. But, I think moths are just as beautiful and perhaps even more intriguing due to this misconception of them being drab, they are anything but! And with around 160,000 species in existence, there’s certainly plenty of variety.
Tympanuchus cupido As well looking rather splendid the greater prairie chicken performs a fascinating dance during mating season. Males gather together and essentially have what we would call a ‘dance off’. They raise the crests on either side of their head, snap their tails and stamp their feet whilst inflating sacs hidden behind the bright […]
Balaeniceps rex The shoebill’s bill has evolved to help the bird hold onto its favourite food, the very slippery lungfish. It also likes to eat small crocodiles and turtles – not your average bird food. While it might not win any beauty contests with its prehistoric looks, enormous shoe-shaped bill and gigantic feet, I can’t […]
Hippocampus bargibanti The Pygmy seahorse is so tiny – some as small as 0.6in (16mm) – and its camouflage so effective, that it was only discovered when scientists were observing specimens of coral under a microscope and noticed unexpected movement.
Nudibranchia This is by far one of the most enchanting and mysterious creatures that I’ve been lucky enough to see in the wild, and in a place with an equally remarkable name – Ningaloo Reef! Nudibranchs are mollusks and are hermaphrodites – they each possess the reproductive organs of both sexes.
Temognatha alternata With its remarkable colouring this is one impressive beetle. But it’s not just all about looking good. The jewel beetle is a wood-boring beetle and has an important job. Wood-boring beetles tend to attack dead or dying trees, thus providing a useful service to the forest in aiding decomposition and killing off weak […]
Lactoria cornuta This funny-looking fish comes from the boxfish family and gets its name from the two horns atop its head and the two below its tail. Scientists believe these horns evolved to make the longhorn cowfish difficult to swallow and therefore unappealing to predators.
Syngnathinae Somewhat resembling a straight seahorse, it’s easy to see how the pipefish got its name. They are indeed related to seahorses and sea dragons. And like seahorses it is the male pipefish that incubates the eggs, either on a patch of spongy skin or in a special pouch on the underside of his body.
by Millie Marotta, Batsford
Apteryx This charming little character is the only bird with external nostrils at the end of its long beak. They are incredibly sensitive to smell and use their disproportionately long beaks to search around on the forest floor for food. Although technically kiwis do have wings, the wings have no muscles, making the kiwi flightless.
Aix galericulata Regarded by many as the world’s most beautiful duck, Mandarin ducks also make very brave little ducklings. They do not build traditional nests; instead they use cavities high up in a tree. Once the ducklings hatch, the female calls to them from the ground outside. The tiny ducklings use their sharp claws to […]
Cyanea capillata The lion’s mane jellyfish is a jelly giant. The largest recorded specimen was found in 1870 and had a body 7.5ft (2m) in diameter and tentacles over 120ft (37m) long – that’s longer than a blue whale. Even better than that – it is bioluminescent, which means it glows in the dark!
Odobenus rosmarus A walrus’s tusks can grow up to 3ft (1m) long. They are used against predators, to establish dominance, to cut holes in the sea ice and to help heave the walrus’ enormous bulk out of the water. When I say enormous, I mean enormous – a walrus calf weighs about 14 stone (89kg) […]
Alces alces With their long faces, oversized muzzles that flop over their chins and strange flap of skin that dangles beneath their throats, moose are really strange looking creatures. Add to that the male’s velvety antlers, which can span 6ft (2m) from front to back and weigh as much as 88lbs (40kg), this is a […]
Diactor bilineatus This clever little bug has evolved hind legs that appear to look like leaves. When threatened the bug raises its hind legs and waves its ‘leaves’, either to convince the attacker that it really is some leaves rustling in the breeze or as a deterrent, making the bug appear larger than it really […]
Sepiida When it comes to weird, the cuttlefish has it mastered. It has green-blue blood, three hearts, can change its skin colour and when threatened squirts a cloud of ink to hide itself. If that fails, it squirts ink mixed with mucous to create a smaller, denser cloud similar in size and shape to its […]