The pictures I included are of a polar bear skeleton, a grizzly bear, a cave bear skeleton, and a chart to show how big the cave bear was.
While we’re not too picky on what kind of bear, it would be really cool if we one day could get our hands on a cave bear skeleton or fossil! The cave bear went extinct about 27,500 years ago. Cave bears are most closely related to brown bears, with a last common ancestor dating to 1.2 to 1.4 million years ago.
Hopefully one day we’ll have a cave bear, but before that we’d love to acquire another species of bear skeleton too!
Snake wine is an alcoholic beverage that is made by infusing whole snakes in rice wine or grain alcohol. It is most common in China, and was first made during Western Zhou dynasty (1046-771 BCE). The snakes used are preferably venomous, such as cobras, and are sometimes infused with other species such as scorpions. Snake wine is thought to cure many things from farsightedness to hair loss, and is supposedly an aphrodisiac and general health aide. The snake venom is denatured by the ethanol so it’s ok to drink.
We love our bottle of snake wine. It’s definitely a favorite in our collection!
A snake and scorpion steeped in rice wine or grain alcohol
Size: 6″ wide x 3″ deep x 9″ tall
The blue-ringed octopus is one of the most dangerous marine species in the world. Although it is generally docile in nature and only 5-8″ long, its venom is powerful enough to kill humans (and there is no antivenom for it). The neurotoxin it uses, called tetrodotoxin, is 1,200 times more toxic than cyanide. This neurotoxin causes motor paralysis and respiratory arrest within minutes, which leads to cardiac arrest due to a lack of oxygen. The venom can also result in nausea, heart failure, paralysis, and blindness, eventually leading to death within a few minutes. A single blue-ringed octopus carries enough venom to kill 26 adults!
The good thing is it is possible to survive a bite from a blue-ringed octopus. The victim can be saved through artificial respiration, if started soon enough and kept up for the entire time the person is paralyzed until they can start breathing on their own again.
We someday want a wet specimen of this octopus for our collection, because it’s one of the most venomous species in the world (and it looks cool)!
This can of “Emergency Drinking Water” was made in 1953 for people to put in their bomb shelters. I bought it from Obscura, one of our favorite oddity stores. It’s in Alphabet City in New York and has many vintage pieces, taxidermy, prints, and other odds and ends. They also had a show on the Science Channel called Oddities. You can check it out on Netflix! One of the guys working there told us that a year ago he had a customer buy a can, open it and drink it! But luckily the guy was fine.
Emergency Drinking Water
A can from 1953 filled with water for bomb shelters
Size: 2 3/4in diameter x 5in tall
Our coconut crab is one of our recent acquisitions. We got him off Etsy. Ours is just a baby (the crab itself is 3in tall and 7in long), posed on half a coconut, but these guys can grow to be as large as trash can lids! I think they’re a little creepy at that size honestly.
The coconut crab is a type of hermit crab and is the largest land-living arthropod in the world. They can grow up to 1 meter in length and can be as heavy as 9 pounds. They can also live for 60 years or longer. Coconut crabs are mostly found on islands in the Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean.
Unfortunately when Mr. Crabs came to us his leg had broken off during shipment, but it was nothing a little hot glue couldn’t fix! If you intend on owning or building skeletons or specimens like Mr. Crabs yourself, a hot glue gun and epoxy resin are both good adhesives to have on hand.
A small coconut crab mounted on half a coconut
Size: (with the coconut) 8 1/2in wide x 6in tall
From Etsy (falconeyestudio)
The water deer is well known for its long canine teeth which protrude from their mouth. These teeth are used for fighting other water deer over territory and mates. They do not have antlers of any kind and are brown or brownish gray in coloring. They are typically 1.5-2 feet tall (measured to the shoulder) and weigh 20-30 lbs. Their life span is 10-12 years.
We’re interested in a Chinese water deer skull because of their unique teeth!
This skunk skull was the beginning of our collection. It is 3″ long, 1 3/4″ wide, and 1 1/2″ tall. M (my boyfriend) gave it to me for my birthday in 2013 and he got it from a store called Evolution in Soho in New York. This store has lots of animal skulls and skeletons, butterflies, jewelry, and even some real human fetus articulated skeletons! This store can get pretty pricy, but their pieces are museum quality.
One day we asked to meet with the articulators in the back to ask them some questions since we were going to start articulating our coyote skeleton. They were super friendly and gave us lots of great tips! If you are ever in the area, I highly recommend checking this place out. It’s great for the occasional high quality piece to add to your collection. Or, like us, it could kickstart your collection!
Size: 3″ long x 1 3/4″ wide x 1 1/2″ tall
From The Evolution Store