All reviews by Gwangi

Land Down Under TOOB (Safari Ltd.)

Australia, like all islands, is an isolated laboratory of sorts, one that offers a look at what the world might be like under different evolutionary pressures. The rest of the world at large operates in much the same way, no matter where you go; the placental mammals (cats, dogs, deer, antelope, etc.) dominate top tier …

Giant Pangolin (Schleich)

Pangolins are a peculiar group of mammals of the Pholidota order. Superficially they resemble anteaters and are often called “scaly anteaters” but they’re not at all closely related to them. Their closest living relatives are actually carnivorans (cats, dogs, bears, seals, weasels, hyenas, etc.) and together they belong to the Ferae clade. Pangolins have been …

Gray Whale (Monterey Bay Aquarium Collection by Safari Ltd.)

The gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus) is a baleen whale that’s the sole extant member of its genus and the family Eschrichtiidae. Two populations currently live in the north Pacific, one small Asian population and a much larger population along the western coast of North America. Gray whales are near shore species and are frequently sighted …

Vaquita Porpoise (Wild Safari Sea Life by Safari Ltd)

The vaquita (Phocoena sinus) has the distinction of being the smallest and most endangered cetacean in the world. In the last 22 years the population of vaquita has dropped from 567 to roughly 10 individuals. The vaquita, like so many marine species, is not targeted specifically but ends up as bycatch in gill nets set …

Shortfin Mako Shark (Wild Safari Sealife by Safari Ltd.)

Although the great white shark is without dispute the most popular of sharks it’s the closely related shortfin mako (Isurus oxyrinchus) that might be the most quintessential of all shark species. It’s as streamlined and graceful as they come, an efficiently evolved animal that might just be, the perfect shark. It’s a shark of superlatives, …

Spotted Hyena (Schleich)

It’s no secret that hyenas don’t have a great public image, they’re often vilified and anthropomorphized with less desirable human traits; cowardice, gluttony, maliciousness, just to name a few. Their portrayal in pop culture, even before The Lion King, has never been a positive one. But like other often vilified animals; snakes, sharks, vultures, bats, …

Shark Ray (Wild Safari Sea Life Collection by Safari Ltd.)

It’s a shark! No, wait, it’s a ray! It’s a shark-ray! Although all ray in the front and all shark in the back the shark ray (Rhina ancylostoma) really is a species of ray, but in appearance it looks like some kind of transitional form, making it easy to see the close relationship between sharks …

Horseshoe Crab (Incredible Creatures by Safari Ltd)

Review and photographs by Gwangi; edited by bmathison1972 Horseshoe crabs of the order Xiphosura have been swimming the Earth’s oceans for the last 445 million years, and as a veteran writer for the Dinosaur Toy Blog, it only seemed appropriate that my first review for the ATB be on something as old (or older than) …