Category Archive: 01 The Amazing Animal Alphabet Book

Jan 29 2014

Kangaroo Maze

Kangaroo Maze

Kangaroo Maze

The kangaroo, like most marsupials, has a pouch to carry its young while they grow. There are about 50 species of kangaroos, all originating in Australia or the nearby islands. The best known of these is the red kangaroo that can grow to over 6 feet tall and reach speeds of 35 miles per hour. The smaller varieties of kangaroos are known as wallabies.

  • Over 95% of the animals indigenous to Australia are marsupials. The wide variety of ecosystems on the continent encouraged a wide variety of species development. Kangaroos are common in the Australian outback.

  • Male kangaroos are known as boomers, females are called fliers. Joey is the word for a young kangaroo. Male kangaroos are bigger than females; females are faster.

  • When the baby kangaroo is born it is less than inch long. Hairless, blind and with no back legs it crawls against gravity for about 3 minutes until it reaches its mother’s pouch and falls in. It stays there and develops for up to 9 months growing into a joey.

  • The quality of the mother’s milk varies as the baby grows to meet its nutritional needs. Sometimes there will be two young in the pouch of very different ages and each will get different milk from a separate nipple to exactly meet its needs. After a joey leaves the pouch for the first time it will return to shelter there many times for up to a year more before becoming completely independent.

  • Kangaroos eat grass and other vegetation. They can survive for months without drinking water.

  • A group of kangaroos is called a mob. They are social animals and live in groups of at least 2 or 3 individuals. Sometimes there will be over 100 kangaroos in a mob.

Here is the solution to the Kangaroo Maze.

Download a PDF of the Kangaroo Maze here!

You can buy a greeting card with this design on it here.

The original artwork is drawn with Faber-Castell india ink on a piece of 7″ x 10″ Canson mix media paper by Rob Hughes.

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Jan 22 2014

Cheetah Maze

Quick,  do the Cheetah Maze!

Quick, do the Cheetah Maze!

Almost all cheetahs live in the deserts and grasslands in the central and southern parts of the African continent. They are the fastest sprinters on the planet. Cheetahs’ coats are golden-tan in color and covered with black spots. On each side of the face they have a distinctive black streak going from the inside corner of the eye down to the side of the nose.


  • There are only about 12,000 cheetahs alive today. About 200 of them live in the wilds of Iran. The largest population is in Namibia where about 2500 of them can be found.

  • Cheetahs are about 2 to 3 feet tall at the shoulder, and weigh about 80 to 140 pounds.

  • They live to be about 10 years old in the wild.

  • Females are usually solitary with a larger home range; males often live in small groups with a smaller home range. Range size varies greatly from about 20 square miles to over 1800 square miles. They are carnivores and they eat gazelle, wildebeest and smaller mammals.

  • In a dead sprint a cheetah accelerates from zero to sixty miles an hour faster than cars that cost more than $250,000. The cheetah reaches this speed in just less than 3 seconds.

  • The cheetah tires out quickly and must stop to rest after 20 seconds or risk deadly over-heating. During this sprint it travels the distance of 5 football fields, about a third of a mile.

  • At high speeds the cheetah’s tail acts like a rudder, helping the big cat to turn quickly.

  • The cheetah hunts during the day. Its excellent eyesight is adapted to desert conditions.

  • The pattern of spots found on one cheetah is unique to that individual.

  • Cheetahs can purr but they do not roar. Cheetahs also make chirping sounds; this may trick other animals into a false sense of security just before the cheetah strikes!

Click here to see the solution to the cheetah maze.

Download a PDF of the cheetah maze here!

The cheetah maze is also available as a greeting card.

 The original artwork was drawn by Rob Hughes on 7″ x 10″ Canson mix media acid free paper with archival inks.  The cheetah is built for speed.  This artwork is built to last.

You may want to compare this maze to my earlier Jaguar Maze.

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Jan 15 2014

X-Ray Fish

X-Ray Fish Maze

X-Ray Fish Maze

The X-Ray Fish, also known as the Pristella Maxillaris or Pristella Tetra, is a fish native to the Amazon River basin. This omnivorous fish lives in large groups, and is very hardy. It is comfortable in a wide range of acidic to alkaline water. It likes both fresh and slightly brackish water equally. The X-Ray Fish has translucent skin that reveals some of its bones and interior organs. Because of its unique appearance and robust nature, this fish is often kept in aquariums.

  • X-Ray Fish usually live about 4 – 5 years. They spawn between 300 – 400 eggs at a time. 24 hours later, these eggs hatch into tiny and delicate fish that receive no assistance from either parent. They will grow into adults after about 9 months.

  • An adult X-Ray Fish is slightly less than 2 inches long; the males are a little smaller and slimmer than females.

  • They are omnivores and feed on small insects, worms and plankton.

  • The X-Ray Fish exhibits shoaling behavior: they need to have others of their kind nearby, though each individual may go its own way. Fish that school together, for comparison, usually move as a group in unison with all other members of that group.

  • In aquariums, X-Ray Fish do best in groups of 10, though as few as 6 is acceptable.

  • The X-Ray Fish, like many other fish, has a swim bladder, which is an air-filled sac that maintains and controls buoyancy. The X-Ray is part of a subgroup of fishes whose swim bladder connects via the vertebrae to the inner ear and gives the fish superior hearing. This arrangement between bladder and bone is called a Weberian apparatus.

You can see the solution to the X-Ray Fish maze here.

Download a PDF of the X-Ray Fish maze here!

Would you like to buy the X-Ray Fish maze on a greeting card: buy it here!

The original was drawn on 7″ x 10″ Canson acid free mix media paper with Faber-Castell archival quality inks by Rob Hughes.

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Jan 08 2014

Alpaca Maze

Are you curious enough to solve the Alpaca Maze?

Are you curious enough to solve the Alpaca Maze?

The alpaca is native to the Andean Plateau from southern Peru to northern Chile. It is a gentle herd animal with a curious and shy temperament. Alpacas are prized for their warm and soft fleece that is made into luxury yarn and quality clothing. During the industrial revolution cloth made from alpaca fiber fostered an international demand that continues to this day.

  • The alpaca is a camelid, that is, it is a member of the camel family. 40 – 45 million years ago all camelids lived in North America. Some of these camelids migrated to South America and over millions of years became alpacas.

  • Alpacas are herbivores and have three stomachs to aid in digestion.

  • Alpacas have two toes on each foot.

  • Alpacas get nervous and upset very quickly if there are fewer than three of them around.

  • There are about 53,000 alpacas in the United States; in Peru, there are over 3.5 million!

  • Alpacas are about 2 and a half to 3 feet tall at the shoulder. Their long necks let them graze while standing up. They can also lift their heads up to 6 feet off the ground to get leaves and branches.

  • A fully grown alpaca typically weighs about 100 to 180 pounds. Males are generally 20 or 30 pounds heavier than females. Rarely, an alpaca weighs more than 200 pounds.

  • Alpacas come in a variety of earth tones, such as brown, grey and reddish-brown. Some are pure black, others completely white. There are about 16 natural shades in all.

  • Suri alpacas have long curly hair. Huacaya (pronounced Wuh-kai-ya) alpacas are fluffy like teddy bears. Huacaya fiber is comparable to merino fiber (the finest of all sheep’s wool). Suri fiber is even finer. All alpaca fiber takes dye very well.

You can see the solution to the alpaca maze here.

Download a PDF of the Alpaca maze here!

Know someone who would like an alpaca greeting card?  You can buy it here!

The original artwork was drawn on 7″ x 10″ Canson mix media acid free paper with archival Faber-Castell inks by Rob Hughes.

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Jan 01 2014

Vulture Maze

Vulture Maze

Vulture Maze

Vultures eat dead animals and prefer fresh meat. They are large birds, with an ungainly walk and elegant flight. New World and Old World vultures are slightly different birds; they evolved independently to fill the same biological niche. There are 23 vulture species.

  • Old World vultures are closely related to raptors; New World vultures have more in common with storks.

  • Vultures are bald and have featherless legs, so they can stay clean while eating a messy meal.

  • While many birds cannot smell anything, vultures can smell their next meal from a mile away, and so they are able to find things completely hidden from view.

  • Vultures’ stomach acid is extremely powerful and it helps protect them from bacteria found in decaying meat.

  • By eating meat other animals avoid, vultures play an important role in the environment.

  • The largest vulture, the Andean condor, has a wingspan of 10 – 11 feet.

  • The hooded vulture lives south of the Sahara Desert in Africa and has a wingspan of about 5 feet. It is the smallest vulture.

  • The oldest known living vulture is a turkey vulture living at the Lindsay Wildlife Museum in California; he turned 40 in 2014.

  • A group of vultures feeding is called a wake; while in flight they are called a kettle.

  • Vultures may fly over a hundred miles a day looking for food.

  • Some vultures make yearly migrations of over 2500 miles; others live in the same location year-round.

You can see the solution to the vulture maze here.

Download a PDF of the Vulture maze here!

Know someone who would like a Vulture Maze greeting card?  You can buy it here!

The original artwork was drawn by Rob Hughes with archival inks on 7″ x 10″ Canson mix media acid-free archival paper.

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