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Animal groups / Apes - superfamily Hominoidea
« on: March 06, 2018, 06:43:40 PM »

Group shot of apes

Apes are the sister group to Old World monkeys, together forming the parvorder Catarrhini. In addition to prosimians and to New World and Old World monkeys, apes are our fourth thread, which concludes this sampler of the primates.

The purpose of this thread is to show a figure for each different species, comparing their  relative sizes. Some product numbers are reported below because apes are popular with toy makers. This is not a complete collection, which would involve many unidentified figures. Manufacturers often produce a generalized toy without designating a species or subspecies. See more photos on Toy Animal Info.

Superfamily Hominoidea has two families: Hylobatidae and Hominidae.

family Hylobatidae - gibbons
   White-handed gibbon, Hylobates lar, by Papo #50146
   Siamang (baby), Symphalangus syndactylus, porcelain, by Little Critterz
family Hominidae - great apes with two subfamilies: Ponginae and Homininae
subfamily Ponginae - orangutans
   Bornean orangutan, Pongo pygmaeus, by Safari #292929
   Sumatran orangutan, Pongo abelii (ID is speculative), by CollectA #88730

subfamily Homininae - gorillas, chimps, humans and ancestors
   † Dryopithecus sp., by Bullyland #58381
   Western gorilla, Gorilla gorilla, by CollectA #88033
   Eastern gorilla, Gorilla beringei (ID is speculative), by Schleich #14770

   Common chimpanzee, Pan troglodytes, by Safari #224729
   Bonobo (baby), Pan paniscus, porcelain, by Little Critterz
   † Australopithecus afarensis (Lucy), by Kaiyodo Study Room
   † Paranthropus (syn. Australopithecus) boisei, by Kaiyodo Dinotales Series 2

   † Homo habilis, by Bullyland #58382
   † Homo erectus, by Bullyland #58383
   † Neanderthal, Homo neanderthalensis, by Bullyland #58384
   Modern human, Homo sapiens (Charles Darwin) by Accoutrements

Your photos are welcome. Go ape!


Collections / Galapagos Display
« on: November 22, 2016, 03:46:05 PM »
Charles Darwin explored the Galapagos Islands in 1835. Different species of mockingbirds and subspecies of tortoises endemic to each island were the catalysts for his theory that natural selection is the mechanism of evolution. Darwin later credited the Galapagos fauna and South American fossils for his conversion to becoming an evolutionist.

The display is organized by habitat in this order (from top): inland, terrace, shoreline, and ocean.

American flamingo, Phoenicopterus ruber (Safari Exotic Birds Toob)
Prickly pear cactus, Opuntia sp. (Playmobil)
   *substitute for the Galapagos prickly pear, O. echios
Galapagos tortoise, Chelonoidis nigra (Banadi)
Pinta Island tortoise, Lonesome George, C. n. abingdonii (CollectA)
Charles Darwin (McDonald's UK)
Galapagos land iguana, Conolophus subcristatus (Bandai)
Woodpecker finch, Camarhynchus pallidus (Banadi)
Agave succulent, Agave sp. (Schleich)
Northern mockingbird,  Mimus polyglottos (Safari, Wings of the World)
   *substitute for the Galapagos mockingbird, Nesomimus parvulus

Brown pelican, Pelecanus occidentalis (Yujin, customized)
Magnificent frigatebird, Frigata magnificens (Bandai)
Wandering albatross, Diomedea exulans (Kaiyodo/Furuta)
   *I do not own the rare Waved albatross, D. irrorata (Yowie)
Great cormorant, Phalacrocorax carbo (Kaiyodo ChocoQ)
   *substitute for the flightless cormorant, P. harrisi
Blue-footed booby, Sula nebouxii (Banadi)

California sea lion,  Zalophus californianus (Colorata)
   *I do not own the Galapagos sea lion, Z. wollebaeki (Play Visions)
Marine iguana, Amblyrhynchus cristatus (Bandai)
Galapagos penguin, Spheniscus mendiculus (Banadi)
Sally lightfoot crab, Grapsus grapsus (Safari, Galapagos Toob)
Galapagos fur seal, Arctocephalus galapagoensis (Safari, Galapagos Toob)

Scalloped hammerhead shark, Sphyma lewini (Kaiyodo Capsule Aquarium series 5)
Marine iguana, swimming, Amblyrhynchus cristatus (Bandai)
Galapagos green turtle, Chelonia agassizii (Yujin)

The core of this collection is the Galapagos set by Bandai, thanks to Brett.
Duplicate species from the Safari Galapagos Toob are not included.
The Galapagos hawk, Buteo galapagoensis (Safarai Galapagos Toob) is not shown here because it is suspended from above.

Other/Misc. / Amoeba proteus (EISCO Scientific)
« on: November 15, 2016, 01:37:07 PM »
Review of Amoeba proteus, a freshwater protist classified in the phylum Amoebozoa. This protozoan might evoke fond memories of biology class. Although the figure is a scientific model rather than a toy, when the price was discounted 75% off, I could not resist the purchase. This amoeba is closely related to the giant amoeba, Chaos carolinense. Both species extend pseudopodia for locomotion and to phagocytose smaller prey organisms. The model and base are made of PVC. At 1,000 X life, the large size is a concern for displaying with the collection.

Amoeba proteus, by EISCO Scientific, length 14 in. or 42 cm.

Side view, thickness 3.5 in. or 9 cm.

The upper surface of this pseudopodium is removable.

The key identifies the structures by numbers on the model, which are too tiny to read in the photo that follows.

Major structures are labeled here.

Animal groups / Old World Monkeys - superfamily Cercopithecoidea
« on: September 10, 2016, 07:23:58 PM »
Old World monkeys belong to parvorder Catarrhini (down-nosed), which also includes superfamily Hominoidea, the apes, which are covered in a separate thread. The single family Cercopithecidae is divided into subfamilies Cercopithecinae and Colobinae. Cercopithecinae is the guenons, mangabeys, baboons, and macaques. Colobinae is the leaf-eating monkeys with ruminant stomachs: proboscis, langurs, snub-nosed, and colobus. All of these monkeys are native to Africa or Asia.

The purpose of this thread is to show examples of different species, comparing the size of figures to the Schleich guy. Several species that were once exclusive to Play Visions are now represented by other makers.


Diana monkey, Cercopithecus diana, by CollectA
Black crested mangabey, Lophocebus aterrimus, by Nayab
Mandrill, Mandrillus sphinx, by Play Visions
Guenon, Cercopithecus sp., by Britains
Baboon, Papio sp., by Safari / Monkey Toob

Cercopithecinae / Macaca

Lion-tailed macaque, Macaca silenus, by Chap Mei
Celebes crested macaque, Macaca nigra, by Mojo
Formosan rock macaque, Macaca cyclopis, by Kaiyodo
Japanese macaque, Macaca fuscata, by Nature Techni Colour
Rhesus macaque, Macaca mulatta, by Nayab


Proboscis monkey, Nasalis larvatus, by Mojo
Abyssinian black-and-white colobus, Colobus guereza, by Kaiyodo / Yotsuba
Golden snub-nosed monkey, Rhinopithecus rexellana, by Kaiyodo / Furuta
Southern plains gray langur (pair), Semnopithecus dussumieri, by Bandai

This collection is incomplete. Your photos are invited.
For more images see Toy Animal. Info .

Edit: Corrected that Formosa rock macaque was made by Kaiyodo, not Nayab.

Animal groups / New World Monkeys - Platyrrhini
« on: April 29, 2016, 06:59:09 PM »
New World Monkeys - Platyrrhini

Primates of the parvodrer Platyrrhini (flat-nosed) are classified in 5 families.
This thread does not exhibit a complete collection. The owl monkey, family Aotidae, is not available as a toy figure.
We sample species for the other 4 families.

Group shot of Platyrrhini to show size relative to the Schleich guy

Family Callitrichidae
Golden lion tamarin, Leontopithecus rosalia, by Safari Ltd., Monkeys and Apes Toob
Common marmoset, Callithrix jacchus, by Nayab

Family Cebidae
Common squirrel monkey, Samimiri sciureus, by Schleich
White-headed capuchin, Cebus capucinus, by K&M, Rainforest Tube
Blond capuchin, Sapajus flavius, by Safari Ltd., Monkeys and Apes Toob
Black capuchin, Sapajus nigritus, by Nayab

Family Pitheciidae
Bald uakari, Cacajao calvus, by Nayab
Masked titi,* Callicebus personatus, by Safari Ltd, Monkeys and Apes Toob
     *pronounced tea-tea

Family Atelidae
Brown howler, Alouatta fusca, by Play Visions, Manu Amazon Set
Venezuelan red howler, Alouatta seniculus, by Trendmasters, Amazon Predators
Colombian wooly monkey, Lagothrix lugens, by Safari Ltd., Monkeys and Apes Toob
Geoffroy's spider monkey, Ateles geoffroyi, by Safari Ltd., Monkeys and Apes Toob
Red-faced black spider monkey, Ateles paniscus, by Safari Ltd., Wild Safari Wildlife

Photos of additional examples are welcome, especially the rare white-faced saki by Play Visions.

Animal groups / Prosimians
« on: February 17, 2016, 10:03:12 PM »
Prosimians traditionally included the enchanting primates that are not monkeys or apes. Now tarsiers are classified closer to monkeys than to lemurs. Recent primate taxonomy has the following 2 suborders:
Strepsirrhini (wet nosed) - previously known as prosimians, excludes tarsiers
     Infraorder Lemuriformes - lemurs
     Infraorder Lorisiformes - lorises and bushbabies
Haplorhini (dry nosed) - tarsiers and simians
     Infraorder Tarsiiformes - tarsiers
     This thread includes tarsiers, but not monkeys and apes.   
First, let's dispel a misnomer. The flying lemurs are not primates. They belong to order Dermoptera, closely related to primates.

Malayan flying lemur or colugo, Galeopterus variegatus, by Colorata, length 1.5 inches or 3.8 cm.

I do not own the mythical set of lemurs by Play Visions. (Update: see reply #17.) See photos at Toy Animal Info.
Let's look at examples of species, grouped to show relative size of figures.

Aye-aye, Daubentonia madagascariensis, by Colorata
Coquerel's sifaka, Propithecus coquerel, by  K & M
Verreaux's sifaka, Propithecus verreauxi, by Furuta Choco Egg Series 6

Ring-tailed lemur, Lemur catta, by Yowie UK Series 2
Black-and-white ruffed lemur, Varecia variecia, by Kaiyodo Yotsubato
Red ruffed lemur, Varecia rubra, by K & M
The Schleich guy is about 1.75 inches or 4.5 cm. He is a primate but not a prosimian.

Senegal bushbaby, Galago senegalensis, by Yowie UK Series 2
Slow loris, Nyticebus sp., by Takara Tomy A.R.T.S.
Spectral tarsier, Tarsius spectrum (syn. tarsier), by Furuta Choco Egg Series 7
Tetonius homunculus †, by Yujin, Miracle Planet, aka Infraorder Omomyiformes,
an Eocene prosimian with adaptations for leaping like tarsiers.
The Schleich guy is for scale.

Here is a set of 6 figures of planarians, phylum Platyhelminthes or flatworms. The label identifies them as order Tricladida, but not by genus. My guess is Dugesia sp. There are two illustrations of regeneration.

If the head is cut down the center, two new heads are regenerated.

After the body is cross-cut into pieces, each piece can regenerate a new planarian.

An example of a planarian when the loop for attachment has been cut off.
The plastic is rubber-like, flat on the bottom. Thanks to Brett for sending the set.

Kaiyodo - other series / Rain Frog (Kaiyodo CapsuleQ Museum)
« on: January 24, 2015, 08:42:46 PM »

Common rain frog, Breviceps adspersus (Kaiyodo CapsuleQ Museum)

SVL is 1 3/16 inches or 30 mm. Average life size is 30 to 50 mm.
Figure is one of six from a set of frog and pouch good luck charms.
Nice to see another African species of frog. Brontodocus, my compliments to you on your skill at identification.

General / Thanksgiving 2014
« on: November 27, 2014, 01:55:14 PM »
Happy Thanksgiving Day. Hurrah for the pumpkin pie!

Wild turkey at the Minnesota Zoo.

K&M/Wild Republic / Tiger Salamander (K&M)
« on: November 21, 2014, 12:53:48 PM »
More salamander goodness:

Eastern tiger salamander, Ambystoma tigrinum (K&M). Length is 10.5 inches or 27 cm.

Belly is marked: "All rights reserved / © K & M Int’l Inc. 1993"

This figure is made of soft rubber.  The paint did not hold up well to my granddaughter’s play, so I touched-up the green spots.
A smaller model with yellow markings was also released, but I do not own it. Both color versions seem to be rare now.

Customised figures / Customized Pacific Giant Salamander
« on: November 12, 2014, 01:45:36 PM »
Several years ago, my wife and I went on a camping trip in the North Cascades.
A little boy who was fishing told us how to spot rough-skinned newts swimming in the lake.
He could not help us find a giant salamander.

Pacific giant salamander, Dicamptodon tenebrosus (T.M. – customized)

A model of the awesome Pacific giant salamander has not been issued by any toy company.
I modified an unidentifiable mole salamander, dated 1996, found on eBay.
Total length is life scale at about 13 inches or 33 cm.
I used Das Modeling Clay to smooth the back and flatten the tail. 

I do not know about the manufacturer, T.M., and would appreciate information.



Books, film, and other media / Video: Night of the Salamander
« on: October 18, 2014, 02:13:11 PM »
I recommend Night of the Salamander because salamanders are not often covered as a topic for a film.
This documentary showed an olm swimming, an axolotl in Mexico, a Japanese giant salamander and a few other species.

The olm was especially of interest because it showed the natural color as white without the pink tint that Safari Ltd. used for the toob figure.
When raised while exposed to light, the olm’s color changed to gray, but the eyes did not develop.

Unfortunately, the DVD is not available for sale on the Internet. Rent to stream from Amazon.

Animals / Freshwater sponge
« on: August 18, 2014, 04:08:56 PM »

Freshwater sponge , phylum Porifera, possibly Spongilla. Length less than 6 inches or 15 cm.
Attached to a rock in a shallow river in Minnesota, the branches are pointing downstream.

While I am not aware of any toy replica of a freshwater sponge, Vauxia, a marine sponge figure, dates from 520 million years ago. 
Our friends at the Dinosaur Toy Forum would welcome us to visit the site.

Vauxia (Safari – Cambrian Life Toob). Height 2 3/8 inches or 6 cm.

Other/Misc. / Amphiuma (Morgan Reptile Replicas)
« on: August 03, 2014, 05:38:02 PM »

Two-toed amphiuma, Amphiuma means, (Morgan Reptile Replicas)
Spine length about 24 inches or 61 cm. Compared to Bullyland fire salamander.

This replica is made of resin cast from a specimen. I painted it with acrylics.
The unpainted version is sold with a flange than needs to be dressed with a Dremel tool.
Toy companies have not made an amphiuma figure.
It is one of the largest salamanders, approaching 4 feet in length.

The ventral view shows that the bottom is flat.

Available from Morgan Reptile Replicas, item # MRR-159:

Other/Misc. / Surinam toad (Agatsuma)
« on: July 24, 2014, 02:12:07 PM »

Surinam toad, Pipa pipa, (Agatsuma Entertainment, Amazing Creatures)
length 2 3/16 inches or 5.5 cm; base 3 1/8 inches or 8.0 cm.

This fascinating creature may shock us, like the chestburster scene in the movie “Alien.”
During mating, eggs stick to the female’s back, and are embedded in the skin, forming honeycomb pockets.
Baby toads emerge when fully developed. Although “Surinam” is still used, the official spelling is Suriname.

The Surinam toad belongs to the primitive family Pipidae, like the smoother African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis.
Both are fully aquatic. The synonym, star-fingered toad, refers to the tactile organs on Pipa’s fingertips for
locating prey in murky waters. This figure has a tiny fish in its mouth.

Although this is a nice figure, the frog collection by Yujin has superior detail. Yujin allegedly made a Surinam toad. 
My guess is that Yujin may have used the mold from Play Visions. If you have a photo, please post it.

I bought this replica on eBay, but even on sale, the price was exorbitant. It will make a romantic anniversary surprise for my wife. 
The gift for year 44 is an anuran, isn’t it?

Animals / Western painted turtle
« on: July 20, 2014, 11:00:57 PM »
This beautiful turtle is a common sight in Minnesota.

Western painted turtle, Chrysemys picta bellii, basking in a pond.

Jetoar posted a walk-around of a figure of this species by Larami:

The red plastron should have a splotch, as shown in this repaint of a red-eared slider by Safari, Incredible Creatures,
originally posted on Version 1 of the Dinosaur Toy Forum.

Animals / Bryozoan
« on: July 06, 2014, 10:41:34 PM »


If you are interested in weird animals, this photo is for you. I am not aware of a toy moss animal, phylum Ectoprocta. 
The photo is of a live colony lifted out of a lake in Minnesota along the shoreline.  The colony was attached to the stem of a shrub.
The gelatinous matrix is about the size of a grapefruit.  Most bryozoan species are marine.

Kitan Club - Nature Techni Colour / Fungi (Kitan Club) Part 3?
« on: May 13, 2014, 01:58:18 PM »
Three sets of 8 mushrooms are pictured on websites.  Not able to read Japanese, I can only guess at the designations of the sets.
1.   See this link:
2.   The set posted by Tyrantqueen here:
3.   The set of mushrooms that follows.

Nature Techni Colour Mushrooms Part 3? with ruler for scale

Shimeji, Hypsizygus marmoreus (or tessellates)

Hon-shimeji, Lyophyllum shimeji

Flowerpot parasol, Leucocoprinus birnbaumii

Common morel, Morchella esculenta (Minnesota state mushroom)

Half-dyed slender Caesar, Amanita hemibapha

Sky-blue pink gills, Rhodophyllus (or Entoloma) virescens

Ram’s head, Grifola frondosa

(No common name), Podostroma cornu-damae

Happy birthday to Mrs. Stemturtle!    :)

General / Happy Spring 2014
« on: March 20, 2014, 11:48:09 AM »

It’s spring again!
Some bright colors will help to convince us that the brutal winter is officially over.
The hatchling is a 3-toed box turtle.
Thanks to Mrs. Stemturtle for sharing skills at both Photoshop and pysanka (Ukranian eggs).

Customised figures / Olm after toe amputation and repainting
« on: February 05, 2014, 11:58:45 PM »

Olm (Safari Ltd. – Cave Dwellers Toob)

The original figure can be viewed as a walk-around.

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