About the Project

The ZooTrophy Animal-a-Day project began on October 15th, 2013 as illustrator Angela "LemurKat" Oliver began working her way, systematically but selectively, through the alphabet and presenting, via social media, an illustrated animal to the world. Daily.

All pieces are drawn as 2.5 x 3.5 inch collectible cards, using a combination of polychromos and prismacolor pencils, along with other art materials. Many are still available for purchase ($10) or trade, so drop her an email if anything captures your eye or if there is an animal you wish to request.

It is predicted this project will take her at least two years to complete - with approximately 36 animals being drawn for each letter. She has also used the images to create a collectible hardback encyclopedia series, playing cards and a desk calendar, as well as the ZooTrophy collectible trading card game.

Monday, August 31, 2015

#671: Ruffed Lemur

The Ruffed Lemur is a Critically Endangered primate found in scattered populations across the east coast of Madagascar. She is the largest of the "true" Lemur Family (Lemuridae). Her diet is vegetarian: leaves, fruit and seeds. Nectar is lapped from flowers. She is a major pollinator of the travellers tree, a palm-like tree endemic to the island. Female Ruffed Lemur will mate with multiple male, giving birth to twins or triplets. Unlike other Lemuridae lemurs, she does not carry her youngsters, instead leaving them safely in a well-hidden nest. Two species occur - this black and white, and the red. The two species will hybridise in captivity.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

#670: Royal Flycatcher

The Royal Flycatcher is a member of the Tyrant Flycatcher Family. He makes his home in South America, with four subspecies (or possibly species). He is characterised by his striking crest of orange-red feathers, which he raises in courtship displays and when being handled. The Amazonian subspecies builds a very long, hanging nest over water. This protects it from predation. As his name suggests, his diet consists almost exclusively of insects. These are plucked from the air or taken from leaves.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

#669: Roundworm

There are perhaps as many as 1 million species of Roundworm, a Phylum of Nematode, over half of which are parasitic. Widespread and versatile, various species inhabit every ecosystem from the deepest oceanic trenches to the driest deserts. They are also, most famously, known to occupy the internal organs of vertebrates, but species are also adapted to parasitise plants and insects as well. Long and slender, parasitic Roundworms have a distinctive head, which may contain head shields and three or six lips, equipped with an array of teeth. They may also be ornamented with bristles, ridges and other distinctive structures. Eggs are deposited in the soil via the host's fecal matter, where they can be ingested directly, or indirectly, by a new host. Once hatched, the larvae may affect the host's behavioural patterns and can have a detrimental effect on their health.

Friday, August 28, 2015

#668: Rothschild Mynah

The only bird endemic to Bali, the Rothschild Mynah perches on the edge of extinction. In 2001, only six wild birds existed, but captive-bred individuals were released to supplement the population. Now, his range is limited to a small patch within a national park. Here he lives in small flocks, feeding on insects, seeds and berries. Pairs are long-term and monogamous, with the two maintaining bonds through courtship rituals and mutual preening. His main threat comes from poaching, as despite strict restrictions around breeding and trading these birds, demand within the pet trade exists.

I made him a Zootrophy card (because I haven't for a while):

Thursday, August 27, 2015

#667: Rosella

There are six species of Rosella spread across Australia and the surrounding islands. These colourful parrots inhabit forests, woodland and suburban parks. Diet consists mainly of seeds, fruit and vegetables. Several species are popular in aviculture, where they breed readily and live for over 20 years - but can be aggressive towards other birds.  This fellow is the Crimson Rosella of east and southeast Australia. He and the Eastern Rosella have also been introduced to New Zealand, probably escapees from aviaries, and have established localised populations.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

#666: The Beast

The Beast was born in the belly of a volcano, the strongest of a litter of five, after their mother became trapped by a rockfall. He killed and consumed all of his siblings, before an eruption allowed him to escape. Now he roams the lava wasteland in the cool of night, hunting for stray animals or people that venture out after dark. Despite his size - around 6 feet in length, not including his tails - he moves with utter silence and stealth. The last thing his prey will see is the moonlight glinting off the bone-white of his skull and the golden gleam in his eyes.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

#665: Roseate Spoonbill

The beautiful Roseate Spoonbill makes his home in South America, Central America and the US's Gulf Coast. His pink colouration is derived from his food, and can range from a pale pink to a bright magenta. His bare green head acquires a golden tint during breeding season. His distinctive bill is used to sift through mud, straining out the dirt and water, leaving him with mouthfuls of crustaceans, frogs, insect larvae and small fish.

Monday, August 24, 2015

#664: Roller

The Rollers are a Family of near-passerine bird named for his acrobatic courtship flight. Like his relatives, the Kingfisher, Motmot and Bee-eater, he hunts using a wait-and-watch method. Finding a high vantage point, he scans the area for prey in the form of insects and small vertebrates. These are snatched from the ground, or air, with his powerful bill and taken back to his perch to be dismembered. This fellow is the Lilac-brested Roller. He is the national bird of Kenya and Botswana.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

#663: Rock-wallaby

This fellow is a Yellow-footed Rock-wallaby. He is one of 17 species of Rock-wallaby. These nocturnal macropods spend their days lurking within the stone fortress of rocks, and venture out at night to graze.

Here's a photo of a short-eared Rock-wallaby taken in Kakadu:

 As you can see, the various species look kinda similar - also like the Nabarlek. I cannot help but wonder if I drew my nabarlek off the wrong reference image. Here's a real nabarlek. Unfortunately, he was in a nocturnal house and wouldn't stop moving. As you can see, I did the tail wrong on my image.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

#662: Robber Fly

The Robber Fly Family contains over 7000 species, spread throughout the world. They are large and aggressive flies, who lurk in wait for their prey. Large eyes, set high on the head, allow them to see potential victims - other insects, small invertebrates, even spiders. These are, generally, captured in flight, gripping between the powerful forelimbs and paralyzed via the short, sharp proboscis. The paralyzing neurotoxin also liquifies the victim's internal structure, allowing it to be sucked out through the proboscis.

Friday, August 21, 2015

#661: Rockhopper Penguin

The Rockhopper Penguin is one of the smaller species of Penguin, and are sometimes divided into three species. They inhabit rocky shorelines and are named for their tendency to leap from rock to rock. Nests are burrows, constructed amongst coastal tussock grasses. She spends much of her day out at sea, pursuing squids, crustacean and fish. Commercial fishing, pollution and climate change have all combined to significantly reduce population numbers, sending this species (and many others) on a downward spiral from which the chances of recovery are slim.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

#660: Rocket Frog

There are several species of Rocket Frog, select members of the Litoria tree frog Genus, found in Australia  - this fellow is the Striped Rocket Frog. His range encompasses most of coastal northern Australia, from the top of Western Australia around to Sydney. Here he can be found in swamps, ponds and flooded grasslands. Ephemeral ponds are used for breeding. Rocket Frogs can be distinguished by their longer hind legs, which allow him to make leaps of around 2 m - about 35 times his own body length.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

#659: Robin

Whilst there are numerous birds across the world known as "robin", the name originates from the Robin Redbreast of Europe. He is a member of the Old World Flycatcher family. He is one of the most recognisable birds in England and the national bird. The male is highly aggressive, and will attack other males and smaller birds who stray into his territory. He favours an insectivorous diet, and will often hop about near gardeners, taking advantage of freshly turned soil.

The American Robin is a member of the thrush family, and as such not closely related. Nor are the Robins of Australia and New Zealand.

the more I look at this wee fellow, the less satisfied I am with my rendition of him. Although, I do like his smile.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

#658: Roadrunner

Roadrunners can run at up to 23 mph.
Coyotes can manage up to 43 mph.

Roadrunners are found in south-western states of America down to Mexico. She is the state bird of New Mexico and the largest member of the cuckoo family in America. Although she favours a terrestrial lifestyle, she is capable of flight. Her diet consists mainly of invertebrates and small vertebrates, and she has been known to kill and consume snakes. Unlike many of her cousins, she builds her own nest - a rudimentary platform - and both pairs raise the offspring.

Monday, August 17, 2015

#657: Ring-tailed Vontsira

The Ring-tailed Vontsira was once considered a member of the mongoose family; he is now classified amongst the Malagasy carnivores, along with the Fossa, the Fanalouc and five other mongoose-like species. Agile, and a good climber, he is active throughout the day and will engage in playful behaviour. His diet consists mainly of small vertebrates and invertebrates, but he is partial to the occasional fruit and can be found scavenging around campsites.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

#656: Ringtail

The Ringtail is a small relative to the racoon. He makes his home in the deserts and dry areas of the south-western US and is the state mammal of Arizona.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

#655: Ribbon Seal

If you are wondering why the alphabet is a bit out of order here - I was initially intending to draw a Ringed Seal today. However, when I googled for images, I stumbled upon this species, and her striking colouration (plus the fact she starts with R too), persuaded me to illustrate her instead.

The Ribbon Seal is a strikingly-coloured pinniped. She can  be found in the Arctic and Sub-Arctic regions, rarely coming to land but spending her life either on ice or in the water.  She will dive to depths of 200m to catch food in the form of fish, cephalapods and crustaceans.  In April, she comes up onto the pack ice to give birth and mate again. Pups are born pure white and are sometimes mistaken for harp seals. She remains with her pup for his first month, then returns to the sea, abandoning him. Over the next few weeks he loses his dense white fur, moults into his adult coat and loses a dramatic amount of weight, before heading out to sea himself.

Friday, August 14, 2015

#654: Riflebird

The Riflebirds are three birds of paradise, found in Papua New Guinea and the eastern mountains of Australia. His name comes from his colouration, reminiscient of the Rifle Brigade's uniforms. He follows a largely insectivorous diet. Like all birds of paradise, males are polygynous. He courts the females with an elaborate dance, first calling for her, then raising his wings into a semi-circle and puffing out his chest feathers, before ending with a wing-clapping display.This performance is also used to defend his site. After mating, the female builds her nest and raises the offspring alone. 

This is a Victoria Riflebird, from the Atherton Tableland. You can watch him perform here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fkNCslAgNSw

Thursday, August 13, 2015

#653: Rhinoceros

The Rhinoceros are five species of odd-toed ungulate, of which three species are found in Asia and two - including this white rhinoceros - inhabit Africa. All are characterised by the horns, which are formed of keratin and grow constantly throughout the Rhinoceros's life. These horns are prized on the black market, where they are crushed into a powder and used in traditional medicine. Poaching has eliminated two of the Asian species from much of their range, and reduced populations to critically low levels. The African species suffer a similar plight with only the southern white rhinoceros surviving in sufficient numbers.

It is unknown how the white rhino got its name, for she certainly is not white - although her colouration is slighter lighter than that of the black rhino. It has been considered a variation of wijd, a Dutch word meaning "wide" and referring to her lips, which are wide and allow her to efficiently graze, but this has not been linguistically proven. The black rhino as narrower, prehensile lips, which he uses to browse leaves and twig from trees. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

#652: Rhesus Monkey

The Rhesus Monkey is amongst the best known of the macaque species. She is common throughout India, Pakistan and neighbouring countries, including urban areas. Troops can number from 20 to 200 individuals, both male and female. Diet is mostly herbivorous, consisting of fruits, seeds, roots, bark and buds, with the occasional insect eaten. Intelligent and social, Rhesus have been heavily studied and display complex cognitive abilities - including self awareness, making judgements and even self agency.

Documented footage in a train station shows one Rhesus Monkey alledgedly reviving another that had been stunned by electicity.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

#651: Rhea

The Rhea are two species of large, flightless birds native to South America. Here, the Greater Rhea favours the open grasslands, pampas and woodlands, in the lower ranges, whereas the Lesser Rhea favours the higher ranges. Her diet is predominantly vegetarian, although insects and small vertebrates are occasionally consumed. The male will court and mate with several females, and eggs are laid in a shared nest. He also incubates all of the eggs - up to 60 - unless he finds a subordinate male to take his place. The females, meanwhile, head off to mate with more males and lay more eggs.

Monday, August 10, 2015

#650: Reindeer

Only lineart today, I had a meeting to attend - surprised I got this much done, actually.
Colour it in yourself, if you like.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

#649: Red Wolf

Another animal that starts with an adjective. Oh well! This is the last "red" animal, I promise! (although warning, there will be a number of "yellow" ones later).

The Red Wolf is found only in the southeastern United States and considered an immediate between the Wolf and the Coyote. Her taxonomic status is not truly known, although she is currently considered a distinct species. Unfortunately, an extensive extermination project combined with coyote-crossbreeding reduced the population to very small numbers. Captive breeding has seen her reintroduced to some of her formal habitat, although she is critically endangered. In behaviour, she is more social than a coyote, but less so than a wolf. Partnerships are monogamous, and the two raise up to seven pups.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

#648: Red-winged Blackbird

The Red-winged Blackbird is widespread across North America, with his range extending down into Central America. In winter, populations migrate to the warmer south and flocks can number over a million birds. His diet is omnivorous, consisting of seeds, insects and other invertebrates. During breeding season, the territorial male pairs up with multiple females. Nests are constructed in loose colonies and built entirely by the female; they are constructed above water. The drab-coloured female also incubates the eggs, relying on her camouflage to protect her from predation.

Friday, August 7, 2015

#647: Red Panda

The Red Panda is not related to the Giant Panda. He is actually more closely related to the Racoons. The reason the two were once considered related is because they both bear a pseudo-thumb, used for better grasping bamboo.

More information to come tomorrow.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

#646: Red Fody

I always feel it's cheating a little bit to use an animal that can be alphabetised based on an adjective, but I missed this fellow for "F" and I need more Rs, so here he is.

The Red Fody is a small weaver bird native to Madagascar. His range encompasses much of the island and he is at home in forest clearings, grasslands and cultivated areas - where he has become a serious pest on rice crops. His diet consists mainly of seeds, nectar and insects. During breeding season he replaces his olive-green plumage with a vibrant orange or red and forms a monogamous partnership. He weaves a somewhat primitive nest  from grass strips, with a side entrance tunnel near the top. His mate then lines it. The pair are able to raise two broods in a season.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Art Clean-out: Make an offer

I have a large amount of Art Cards in my collection and it it time to add a few to your collections, so  if you wish to own an original piece of my miniature art, pop along to the blog and look for the "Available" tag (currently tagged back to N).

Then comment underneath (or email me if you prefer) with the price you are willing to pay. All offers will be considered, but I reserve the right to decline. These cards are generally sold for $10 each. Some I will let go for much less, others I am more attached to.

Declining will not necessarily be due to low offering price - I would also like to spread my art out between as many people as possible, so if you request a lot of cards (or all the best ones), you may find some declined.

If an offer has already been made but not yet declined or accepted, please DO NOT outbid the original offerer. This is NOT an auction. Wait and see if I accept it. If it is declined, then you can make your own offer.

Payment is via Paypal or bank deposit (NZers only), cash may be accepted in special circumstances (such as I know you personally). Payment must be received before cards will be posted. Postage will be an additional extra of $2.50 international, $0.80c NZ. Combined shipping for up to 7 cards. Any more than that and you may find some are declined!

I am not accepting Art Card trades at this time. Sorry.

Please note that whilst most of these cards do measure 2.5 x 3.5 inches, some are over-sized. If you make an offer on an over-sized card, I'll let you know and you can withdraw the offer if you like (or I can trim the card, but will lose some of the image).

The Rules:
 * Once your offer has been accepted, payment must be made within 3 days via one of the aforementioned methods. After that period, the card will become available again.
* Please do not outbid previous offers. Watch and wait to see if it is accepted.
* If you request more than 5 cards, some offers may be declined.
* When I accept your offer, I will confirm the card is still available (and double-check if it is over-sized) and send you payment details.
* I reserve the right to decline your offer.
* Once payment has been made and address given, the card will be posted to you within 3 days.
* Buyer must pay shipping, combined is available, will be advised of price at time of offer confirmation.
* Cards will be signed and dated on the front, slipped into plastic sleeves (unless oversized) and packaged with card for postage. The back will be signed, dated and give the animal's species.

#645: Red-bellied Lemur

One of the lesser-known Lemur species, the Red-bellied Lemur inhabits the eastern rainforests of Madagascar. Troops consist of monogamous pairs and up to ten individuals. His main diet is fruit, supplemented by leaves, flowers and nectar. He is an important agent in seed dispersal. Like all lemur species, he is threatened by hunting and deforestation, but his large range means he is still only classified as "vulnerable", unlike his more specialist relatives.

(This picture is really old, I do intend to upgrade it)

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

#644: Ray

The Rays are a superorder of cartilaginous fish. They are characterised by their flattened bodies, wing-like pectoral fins and ventrally-located gills. Well-camouflaged, the Ray spends much of her time on the sea floor.  This particular speciman is a Stingray, and can be recognised by the barbed stinger on his tail. This is used in self-defense to deliver a painful venom to the attacker. Death is rare, with Steve Irwin, the crocodile hunter, being one of the few fatalities. Her diet consists of small sea creatures such as fish, snails, crustaceans and clams. After mating, the sperm can be stored until conditions are right - two captive female Stingrays gave birth two years after they were last with a male - and the infants develop inside the mother's womb.

Monday, August 3, 2015

#643: Raven

Raven is the name given to several large members of the Corvid Family, mostly represented by the Common Raven. She has a cosmopolitan distribution, occuring across North America and Europe. Intelligent and resourceful, she is a generalist feeder. Juvenile Ravens form small flocks, during which the male will begin to court a female, although they do not pair-bond for 2-3 years. Once bonded, they form a life-long monogamous partnership. Ravens can live a long time, over 40 years in captivity, sometimes over 20 in the wild. They are capable of problem-solving, imitation and insight, making them one of the most intelligent non-primates in the world.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

#642: Rattlesnake

The Rattlesnakes are venomous reptiles native to the Americas. She is named for her rattle: a structure formed of interlocking segments of keratin. By contracting her muscles, she can cause these structures to vibrate against each other, the sound amplified by their hollow interior. This acts as a warning system to predators that might disturb her as she rests. Although her bite can cause swelling, pain, hermorrhaging and heart failture, Rattlesnakes only attack if provoked - and many more Rattlesnakes die by human hands than humans by a Rattlesnake's fangs (about 5 of the latter per year).

Saturday, August 1, 2015

#641: Rat

Rats are medium-sized rodents, most commonly represented by the Rattus Genus. This fellow, the Black Rat, is one of the most known. Along with his cousin the Brown Rat, he has colonised much of the world. These "true" Rats are generalists and scavengers, happy to co-exist with humans and taking advantage of our wasteful habits. Both originated in Asia, but migrated with humans, stowing away on ships and inside cargo. Where the two species co-habit, it is the Brown Rat that generally dominates. The Black prefers warmer climates and leads a more arboreal existence. Both are invasive species and have caused massive damage to biodiversity on islands upon which they have been introduced.