Collection: Vampire Bat

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This is a vampire bat suspended in a piece of resin! His name is Wilhelm.

The common vampire bat has specialized thermoreceptors on its nose to help it locate blood that flows close to the surface of the skin of their prey. They also have a special part of their brain, called the inferior colliculus, that processes the regular breathing sounds of sleeping animals that could be their source of food. Their saliva has an anticoagulant to help them feed.

Vampire bats are also unique in that they are the only kind of bat that can run on land. They also are the only species of bat to adopt a younger individual if something happens to that bat’s mother. In addition to this, they will share food with each other if a bat does not find any blood that night by regurgitating some of it’s meal into another’s mouth.

They have a bad reputation for biting humans, but they actually don’t. They focus on other large mammals, such as farm animals.

Vampire bat
Species of vampire bat suspended in clear resin.
Size: 3″ wide x 3″ tall x 1″ deep
From: Unknown, but can be found at Evolution or Etsy
Price: Varies greatly

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Collection: Octopus Wet Specimen

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This is a baby octopus wet specimen in a really cool triangle shaped jar. I bought it for M for our 2 year anniversary.

Octopuses (or octopi- both are correct!) are cephalopod molluscs without skeletons that are some of the most intelligent invertebrates in the world. They have hard beaks in the middle of their 8 legs. They have very unique defense systems, from expelling ink at a predator to some of the best camouflage abilities in the animal kingdom. All octopuses are also venomous, but only one species is deadly to humans (the blue-ringed octopus we posted about a while ago for our wishlist!).

Octopuses have a very short life expectancy, living from anywhere between 6 months to 5 years. Males can live for only a few months after mating, and females die shortly after their eggs hatch because they spend the month taking care of their unhatched eggs without eating, eventually dying of starvation.

They can be trained to differentiate between shapes and patterns, they can break out of their aquariums, and they have been observed using tools. As you can tell we think octopuses are awesome!

Octopus
An unknown species of baby octopus in a jar.
Size: 2.25″ width each side, 4.5″ tall
From: Etsy
Price: $20-$50

Collection: Man Faced Beetle

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The man faced beetle (so called for obvious reasons) is actually a species of stink bug found in Madagascar, India, Sri Lanka, Burma, Thailand, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Phillippines, Papua New Guinea, New Caledonia, Japan, and South Korea.

Our bug is the species Catacanthus Nigripes, from Lombok, Indonesia.

Man Faced Beetle
A stink bug from Indonesia with unique markings on its back
Size: frame 4″ wide x 4″ tall x 1″ deep; beetle .5″ wide x 1″ long
From: Etsy
Price: $20-$50

Collection: Diaphonized Mouse Legs

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Hey remember that post on diaphonization just a few days ago when we said we had a diaphonized specimen in our collection? Well here it is!

We got these cute little mouse legs in a store called Bazaar in Baltimore, in the Hamden area. If you’re ever around there check it out because it has lots of cool stuff for a good price.

I’m pretty sure these are hind legs, but I’m not positive.

Diaphonized Mouse Legs
Hind legs dyed to show the skeletal structure
Size: 2″ tall x .75″ wide
From: Bazaar Baltimore
Price: $10-$20

Collection: New Butterflies

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We bought these two beautiful butterflies at a a market in Charleston, South Carolina. We passed through the city during our 2 week road trip (which was amazing!). Since we heard about the recent news of the shooting in Charleston, we thought we would share something happy that came from this city.

This outdoor market had a lot of great stuff– it was a bit touristy at times, but if you’re ever in the area you should definitely check it out. There was food, jewelry, souvenirs, and these great wooden puzzle boxes we looked at for probably an hour!

We don’t know the species of butterflies unfortunately, but we thought they were too nice to pass up.

Butterflies
Two butterflies in a double glass shadowbox frame
Size: 4.75″ wide x 5.75″ tall x 1.25″ deep
From: Charleston, SC
Price: $20-$50

Collection: Ostrich Skull

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I gave this ostrich skull to M as a Christmas present this past year. He loves ostriches and even wants a farm full of them one day.

Ostriches are large, flightless birds native to Africa. They are the largest species of bird still alive today and also lay the largest eggs. They can run up to 43 mph, the fastest land speed of any bird.

They can weigh anywhere from 139-320 lbs, and the males grow to be between 6’11” and 9’2″ while the females are from 5’7″ to 6’7″. Their lifespan is up to 40-45 years.

Ostriches are also known for their very large eyes- they have largest eyes of any land vertebrate, measuring 2 inches in diameter.

It is a myth that ostriches hide their heads in the sand when they feel threatened. They actually either lay flat on the ground to blend in with their surroundings or they will attack if they feel threatened enough. They can kick very powerfully with their legs, so much so that they can disembowel and kill a person with their long claws in a single blow.

Ostrich skull
An ostrich skull with a detached lower jaw is the biggest skull in our collection.
Size: 7.5″ long x 3.5″ wide x 3.25″ tall
From: Clear Creek Trading- Etsy
Price: $20-$50

Wishlist: Post Mortem Photography

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Post mortem photography was popular in the Victorian era when photography was recently invented because having your picture taken was so expensive. Often families would only have one picture of each person in their family. It was common, especially for children, to have their picture taken after they had died.

Because for photographs back then the subject would have to sit still for several minutes to get a clear shot, having the subjects be dead would be a way to get a sharp image. This is also why you never see people smile in Victorian photographs– it’s easier to sit still with a straight face than hold a smile for several minutes.