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Salamander Stamps

I am not a stamp collector. I don’t know what sort of details make a stamp awesome, make it valuable, or make it worth looking at. But these stamps have salamanders on them. That is all I need to know. Some have really neat artwork. Enjoy browsing the gallery.

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Sea Slugs for Saturday

Everyone loves a sea slug. They’re so attractive! My favorite is Glaucus atlanticus, the “blue dragon” sea slug. They are tiny things, and so pretty.

They are a work of art in themselves (like most under-appreciated animals).

Getty image of sea slug eating a jellyfish

Getty image of sea slug eating a jellyfish

But of course they inspire great art.

And…. what cute critter doesn’t inspire some sort of knitted/plushy thing?

Awww.

Awww.

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Salamanders + other animals = awesome

A few days ago, an announcement was made about the University of Edinburgh’s discovery of the “super salamander” fossil. The 6 foot salamander looks a bit like a amphibious crocodilian.

I want to hug it.

I want to hug it.

Of course, my first thought was “I want to ride it!”

This guy seems thrilled to ride a salamander. I want that thrill.

This guy seems thrilled to ride a salamander. I want that thrill.

But then I thought… 6 feet really isn’t that big, that is about the size of the Chinese giant salamanders, and they are not rideable. Sadness.

Then I thought about how they look like crocodiles’ and salamanders’ love children, and I remembered some artwork of a “salamander whale” I had seen, pictured below. I went around and found a few salamander-other animal combinations that you might enjoy.

 

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Amphibian art for conservation

I found Leah Jay’s artwork when I was looking for artwork that captures the conservation of salamanders. Her artwork is… poetry. The use of watercolors and words to look like a combination of naturalist paintings and street art is just wonderful. I selected some works to share, but if you want to spend some time browsing, I recommend going to her website and going through her galleries. She has put together a book of her art in order to spread awareness about the amphibian extinction crisis.

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French Axolotls

It is no real secret that I am an axolotl fan- my only two tattoos are of axolotls (we’ll have a tattoo posting once I can get a satisfactory photo of Hector, the axie on my foot). I am doing a guest lecture in a development class tomorrow, and since I was given no topic and the students are observing axolotl embryo growth, I figured I would give them the history of axolotls in science. Which brings me to this artifact.

This is a video from 1913, made by the French collectors of axolotls. This is amazingly old for a scientific video… Or at least a surviving scientific video. While it is not exactly Science Art, this video is a little piece of axolotl history!

For those who didn't have the patience to watch the film, enjoy this brochure cover.

For those who didn’t have the patience to watch the film, enjoy this brochure cover.

For those who aren’t axolotl geeks like myself: in the mid 1800s, a French journalist brought a bunch (a bunch = 34) of axolotl specimen back from a trip to Mexico. In 1863, 6 of these animals were given to August Duméril who was an enthusiastic biologist. He bred the heck out of them and studied them intensely, discovering their various color morphs and interesting properties such as neoteny and regeneration. Thus began the long and fruitful career of the axolotl in science. These little dudes are incredibly important to medical research (especially immune, neurobiological, and reproductive research). They are also the cutest animal EVER and they are my conservation icon. I love them.

So… French axolotls.

le axolotl

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Rare Breed: Texas Blind Salamander beer

I was privileged enough to spend a little time with some captive Texas blind salamanders over the weekend, which got me looking around for Texas blind salamander art etc. Texas blind salamanders are delicate little things, but they remind me of one of my favorite species, the cave olm.

There are far too many salamander related beers for me to do one post on just beer, I may have to do them by species… and as far as I can tell, only one beer has ever been devoted to the Texas blind salamander!

Yes, please!

Yes, please!

 

In 2009, Rahr & Sons Brewery made several beers themed for local endangered species called “Rare Breed” and proceeds went to US Fish and Wildlife efforts for the designated species. The blind salamander brew was a pale ale that, according to one interview, took a bit of effort and time to brew. As far as I can tell, they only made it in 2009 and it has not been made since. I hope they bring it back so I can try it! The label is gorgeous.

Frothy.

Frothy.

 

 

 

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Titan Thursday: Someone made an Otachi plush, and it couldn’t be more AWESOME

I was looking up resin models, and I found THIS. I am an AVID fan of Pacific Rim, and my favorite kaiju (“monster,” for any of you who have been so unlucky as to have not seen the film) has got to be Otachi… or really… the adorable little googly eyed Otachi baby.

Googly goo.

Googly goo.

When I saw that someone made an OTACHI PLUSH, it was a stop the presses moment. We all must revel in the absolute awesomeness and adorableness of this plushy Otachi (with baby!!!) made by “pookat” (Jennifer) at deviantart. I think the only thing that could have made it better (for lack of a better word, because honestly this is the best thing ever) would be to give it a pocket, like those “Puppy Surprise” toys from the 90s, that the baby could be inserted into and popped out of. It may not be as snuggly looking as the Japanese giant salamander plush, but this is amazing.