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ANI MAL IUM

A PROJECT BY ALICE GUNN & SANTINI BASRA


The untold tales of imaginary animals.


The Southern Stilted Alligator (Alligator Amicis)

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he stilted alligator is native to the tropical forests and marsh lands of New Guinea and near by islands.There are three extant species. The most common of these, the southern stilted alligator, is the tallest and second heaviest living reptile, smaller only than the American alligator (A. mississippiensis). The New Guinea Stilted Alligator is thought to weigh as much as 300kg and reach lengths of up to 4 metres. All alligators move on land by two forms of locomotion referred to as “sprawl” and “high walk”. The sprawl is a forward movement with the belly making contact with the ground and is used to transition to “high walk” or to slither over wet substrate into water. The high walk is an up on four limbs forward motion used for overland travel with the belly well up from the ground. The stilted alligator is believed to have evolved to extend their ability to ‘high walk’, as more land needs to be covered to reach food due to global warming and destroyed habitat. The stilted alligator is able to navigate through the growing acres of marshland, and is capable of great speeds.


The Greater Malaysian Otter (Lutris Maior)

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he Greater Malaysian Otter has adapted to an environment in which it faces tough competition from other aquatic predators. While biologically it is largely consistent with the common otter, it’s defining feature is two lengthly appendages found on each side of it’s head. The Greater Malaysian Otter uses these appendages in a variety of ways, however it primarily uses them when hunting in water. While other limbs are used to propel the otters main body mass through water, these two appendages function to quickly propel it’s head forward over short distances when lunging towards prey. However when on land this species of otter finds itself vulnerable, as it cannot detect sound—the two limbs cover the spots where traditionally it’s ears would be found. Thus the otter finds himself climbing into trees with it’s food, to avoid larger land predators. It’s two appendages in this case are used to assist the journey up into the trees, often carrying it’s food, or assisting in the climb.


The Cage Bellied Antelope (Antalopus Caveam)

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he Cage Bellied Antelope is characterised by its exosceletal underbelly which is infact a continuation of the mammals rib cage. It is believed that this creature evolved in this way to coexist with the solitary Dappled Hunting Dog. The Cage bellied antelope can run at great speeds and has few predators whilst frolicking in the hot African sun. However, by night, the antelope is extremely vulnerable. Once sitting down, the antelope takes some time to get back to its feet. Combined with its poor night vision, he becomes an easy target. So how does it survive? Using his unique exoskeleton and high pace, the antelope catches small to medium sized prey by sitting on them, trapping the animal within the rib cage. As a herbivore, it is not the antelope that eats these mammals, but the Dappled Hunting Dog. There have been several sightings of the endangered Hunting Dog sleeping beside the antelope and seeing off any potential hunters. It is believed that the cage bellied antelope exchanges food for protection at night. This unlikely pairing can be found living in harmony in some remote parts of Africa.


The Lesser Bushstalker (Stirpsed Flet Minor)

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he Lesser Bushstalker is a carnivorous predator found across Central and Southern Africa. It’s prey traditionally consists of small Antelope, such as Impala (Aepyceros melampus) although they have been known to hunt young Buffalo (Syncerus caffer). Due to extremely short legs Bushstalkers are severely limited in speed, and therefore rely on stealth when hunting. Coated in a heavy layer of long golden hair, Bushstalkers are able to disguise themselves among the various shrubberies found across the Savannah by retracting their faces and legs behind their coats of hair. They will position themselves amidst a grazing herd, and wait until a grazer moves within reach before they pounce.


The Snorkeled Silverback (Gorilla Indago)

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he snorkeled silverback gorilla is characterised by its elongated trunk and its grey fur from birth. The western gorilla lives in west central Africa, while the eastern gorilla lives in east central Africa. The range of the two species is separated by the Congo River and its tributaries. The snorkeled silverback can traverse this river, creating its nests along the banks and feeding off the aquatic herbs and termites. This food source is not shared with any other animal, which has meant the snorkeled silverback gorilla numbers has skyrocketed as marsh land increases. When attacked by humans, leopards, or other gorillas, an individual silverback will protect the group, even at the cost of his own life. His larger and leathery tail is used in battle, and the species is often seen retreating to its watery home for safety, submerging themselves and using their snorkel like nose to breath.


The Flower-backed Equid (Equus quagga flos)

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his extremely rare species of Equid is typically found in Central Africa; often spotted in the areas surrounding the Okavango Delta, it has generally been observed that these creatures favour forested areas.While all other species within the equid family are herbivores Flower Backed Equids are carnivores, primarily feeding on small birds. The flowerlike structure that sits midway along their spine is used for trapping, incapacitating and digesting their prey. Operating in a manner similar to that of the Venus Flytrap (Dionaea muscipula) the flower-like structure closes on any bird that lands on the Equid’s back, attracted by the flower-like structure itself or simply the insects found in the Equid’s fur.


QUITE A FEW PLASTIC ANIMALS WERE COMPLETELY FUCKED IN THE MAKING OF THIS PROJECT

Animalium zine  

The untold tales of imaginary animals - a plastic taxidermy project completed in Somerset with Santini Basra

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