Category Archive: 01 The Amazing Animal Alphabet Book

Dec 25 2013

Turtle Maze

Turtle Maze

Turtle Maze

Turtles live in all but the coldest climates. Where it freezes for part of the year, turtles hibernate from the first frost until the spring; they may remain inactive for up to 8 months. In warmer climates they are active all year round. There are over 250 turtle species. Turtles live about 20 to 40 years old in the wild, and the oldest recorded turtle lived to be 86 years old. The tortoise, related to the turtle, lives much longer; the oldest verified tortoise died in 2006 and was 175 years old.

  • The Leatherback Sea Turtle is the largest species of turtle. They can weigh up to 2000 pounds and grow up to 7 feet from nose to tail. They can dive to depths of up to 4200 feet, and stay submerged for about an hour and a half.

  • Like other reptiles, turtles must breathe air to survive. During hibernation they slow down their heart rate and other bodily functions to minimize oxygen use. Settled into the mud at the bottom of a stream bed, a hibernating turtle will use special cells in its tail to take in oxygen.

  • The top shell of a turtle is called a carapace; the bottom one a plastron. Bones join the top shell to the spine of the turtle, and a bony bridge connects the two shells. There are gaps in the bridge for the turtle’s limbs and head to pop out.

  • Most turtles can protect their head by retracting it into their shell and closing the shell in that area as protection. Box turtles can close their shell on all sides.

  • Turtles are cold blooded, just like all reptiles.

  • Turtles first evolved about 220 million years ago, 50 million years before the dinosaurs, and are still here, 65 million years after the dinosaurs disappeared.

To see the answer to the turtle maze, click here.

Download a PDF of the Turtle maze here!

To buy the turtle maze as a greeting card, click here.

The original artwork was drawn by Rob Hughes on a 7″ x 10″ piece of Canson mix media acid free paper.  Archival inks only were used to draw the maze and the entire artwork.

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Dec 18 2013

Rabbit Maze

Rabbit Maze

Rabbit Maze

Rabbits are adapted to a wide variety of habitats. They are loved as pets and for their soft fur that can be spun into yarn. Rabbits can run at speeds of up to 45 miles per hour. In the wild, rabbits seldom live more than a year or two at most. Domesticated rabbits may live a dozen years or slightly more. Rabbits like to stand on their hind legs to look around.

  • Pet rabbits routinely live to be about 10 years old. They are herbivores.

  • Rabbits in captivity may have a litter every 6 weeks or so; and each litter may have 10 or more babies. In the wild, they can reproduce even more often.

  • A male rabbit is called a buck; a female is a doe.

  • Rabbit babies are called kits; they are born hairless and with their eyes closed.

  • Rabbits’ ears are very large in proportion to their face.

  • Cottontail rabbits are the commonest wild rabbit in the United States. They are similar in size and shape to the domesticated rabbits that originated in Europe.

  • Cottontail rabbits weigh about 2 or 3 pounds and can be up to 16 inches long.

  • There are about 50 domesticated rabbit breeds.

  • The largest of these are the Flemish Giant and Continental Giant breeds. The largest Continental Giant on record weighs about 55 pounds and is over three feet long.

  • Angora rabbits grow fur long and soft enough to be spun into yarn. Rabbits are shorn four times a year, yielding a total of about 12 ounces of fiber. Angora is a super luxury wool!

  • Rabbits are crepuscular, which means they are most active at dawn and at dusk.

  • Rabbits cannot throw up.

You can see the solution to the rabbit maze here.

Download a PDF of the Rabbit maze here!

The rabbit maze is also available as a greeting card from zazzle!

Original artwork by Rob Hughes available.  It is on a 7″ x 10″ of Canson mix media acid free paper and drawn with Faber-Castell inks.

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Dec 11 2013

Peacock Maze

Peacock Maze in the tribal art style!

Peacock Maze in the tribal art style!

         The peacock lives throughout India, Sri Lanka and the surrounding areas. They are one of the largest birds that still can fly. The male peacock is well known for its showy iridescent feathers of blue, green and black. Peacocks are prized possessions, and have been kept as pets for thousands of years. In India they are a symbol of royalty.

  • Informally both sexes are referred to as peacocks, but it is more precise to call them peafowl. Males are called peacocks, females peahens. Juveniles are termed peachicks.

  • Peahens lay, on average, five eggs a year. These eggs will all be in the same brood, even though they are laid a day apart.

  • Peachicks fledge in about a week, and are completely independent from their mother in about 2 months. They are fully grown after about 3 years.

  • A fully grown peacock is about five feet long, including its tail feathers, which make up about 60 percent of the total length. Such a bird will weigh about 10 to 12 pounds.

  • Peahens are slightly smaller than peacocks, and only have brownish feathers.

  • The Sanskrit word for peacock translates to mean “cobra killer”. Peacocks will kill various snakes including cobras.

  • An extract of peacock feathers and water will treat the venomous bites from cobras and vipers.

  • In January of every year the peacock molts all of its feathers. He then regrows them all by June in time for much of the mating season. They help him attract peahens.

  • Peafowl also make various raucous calls. These harsh shrieking sounds are used to attract mates, to help warn nearby peafowl of predators, and during territorial disputes.

Download a PDF of the Peacock maze here!

Here is the solution to the peacock maze.

Think this design would make a nice greeting card?  You can find it here!

Original artwork by Rob Hughes available.  7″ x 10″ Canson mix media acid free archival paper and Faber-Castell black ink.

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Dec 07 2013

Nuthatch Maze

Nuthatch Maze . . . You'll fly through this one!

Nuthatch Maze . . . You’ll fly through this one!

There are 28 species of Nuthatches scattered across the globe, 20 of which live in Asia. Nuthatches are unique among birds in that they may walk either up or down the trunk of a tree and orient their head and body in the direction that they are moving. To accomplish this feat, nuthatches have extremely powerful toes relative to their body weight.


  • In the United States there are four species of nuthatch. Species divergence is in part determined by habitat: some nuthatches like coniferous forests; others prefer deciduous forests. The Red-breasted Nuthatch mostly lives in coniferous forests. The White-breasted Nuthatch is found primarily in deciduous forests.

  • Nuthatches break open seeds by inserting them firmly into a crevice on a tree or other object. Then the nuthatch uses its beak to smash open the seed and eat the insides.

  • Nuthatches come in many distinctive colors and have a variety of markings. Large portions of their bodies may be blue, yellow, red, white or black.

  • The nuthatches in the United States have a distinct marking: a black bar on either side of the face crossing the eye. This mark is found in most nuthatch species worldwide.

  • Many, if not most, nuthatch species do not migrate. An exception is the Red-breasted Nuthatch that spends the summer in the north-central part of the United States and southwest Canada. It winters throughout the far south of the United States.

  • Nuthatches are small: usually less than 6 inches long and weighing at most 1.6 ounces.

  • Nuthatches live about 2 or 3 years; they may live much longer, up to 10 years old.

  • Nuthatch eggs take about 10 days to incubate. Chicks fledge about a month after hatching.

Download a PDF of the Nuthatch maze here!

Here is the solution to the Nuthatch Maze. 

The nuthatch maze is available as a greeting card.  You can buy it here!

This drawing completed on a piece of 7″ x 10″ Canson acid free mix media paper.  All the inks are archival quality.  By Rob Hughes.

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Dec 05 2013

Iguana maze

Iguana Maze

         Iguanas are a type of cold-blooded lizard found in much of South America and southern Mexico. Different species of iguana have adapted to different habitats. They also have a wide diversity of pigmentation including pink, green and purple. Following are some interesting facts all pertaining to green iguanas.

  • The green iguana is the most common type in the world. It prefers to live in wet forests; either swampy forests, or forests bordering on lakes or rivers like the Amazon.

  • Iguanas live most of their life 40 or 50 feet above ground in the forest canopy.

  • If one accidentally falls it will likely be uninjured, even from a height of up to 50 feet – whether it lands on the ground or in the water.

  • Iguanas only leave the trees when a female lays her eggs, and as soon as she is done depositing them she’s gone. 4 months later, when they hatch, the babies are on their own!

  • Baby iguanas, at birth about an inch long, look just like miniature adult iguanas. They travel in a family pack of about 10 iguanas while growing up since this will help keep them safe from predators. Once they are about a year old they go their separate ways.

  • A full-grown adult iguana can weigh up to 25 pounds, and measure over 6 feet from head to tail. Wild iguanas live about 8 years, while captive individuals may live up to 20.

  • Iguanas often bask on tree limbs overhanging water. This way they can dive to safety if there is an impending threat such as a bird of prey. If the iguana’s tail is caught in the talons of such a bird, it will break off, and the iguana will grow a new one later.

  • An iguana can stay under water for almost 30 minutes without coming up for air.

If you want to see the solution to the maze, look here.

Download a PDF of the Iguana maze here!

This maze is also available as a greeting card.  You can buy it here.

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

Permanent link to this article:

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