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Wolf Stuffed Animals & Facts October 29, 2010

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Wolf stuffed animals are not to be confused with dog stuffed animals, because simply put, wolves and dogs are not the same thing. While it’s true dogs are decedents of the wolf, as we know, one is domestic and one is wild which is not the same at all.

Wolves are the largest wild member of the dog family and both their physical and behavioral characteristics are what distinguishes them from domestic dogs; wolves hunt together, cooperating with each other so they can successfully pursue, attack, and eat animals which are generally much larger than they are. 

In North America, there are 24 recognized species of wolf. In terms of their physical appearance compared to other species in the same family – coyotes and dogs – there are differences. Wolves for example, range in weight from 75-115 pounds. Coyotes weigh as little as 25 pounds and as much as 35 pounds, while in dogs, weights can vary. Wolves are black and different shades of grey and tan -found mainly in north-western Montana. White wolves are found mostly in the Arctic, and grizzled in color and they are never spotted. Coyotes can be all shades of grey and tan, white or black, which is rare, and they are also never spotted. Dogs, on the other hand, vary in color and can be spotted (such as the Dalmatian breed). Both wolves and coyotes tails either hang straight down and never curl while a dogs tail carriage can vary and may even curl. Overall, a wolfs general appearance is massive with long legs and if only seen quickly, they are often mistaken for a calf or deer. In contrast, coyotes are of medium size similar to dogs, have dog-like proportions but a fox-like face. A dogs general appearance can vary – from the tiny chihuahua to the very large mastiff.

If the light is bad, or if from a distance, it can be very difficult to tell a wolf, coyote, and dog apart. Through microscopic analysis, the hair of a wolf can be distinguished from both the coyote and the dog, although there are no other current techniques to tell the difference in hair between wolves and coyotes. In addition, genetically, wolves, coyotes, and dogs are nearly identical and there are no testing methods to tell them apart based purely on their genes. The skulls of the three species, however, can be used to tell them apart by examining the differences in size of teeth, and overall angle and size of the skull itself.

A terrific way to teach a child about the differences between wolves and dogs is to have both wolf stuffed animals and dog stuffed animals on hand. At the very least, with these two types of plush toys, both similarities and differences can easily be pointed out. Despite their physical differences, wolf stuffed animals are equally as soft and cuddly as any dog plush toy and like their domestic relative, wolf stuffed animals make terrific life-long friends.


Unicorn Stuffed Animals

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What is it that draws children to mythical creatures like unicorns? Could it be that through books, movies, and television, they are made to believe that they really exist or did exist at some time long ago? Whatever it is, unicorns are as popular today as they ever were. And, to get as close to the real thing as possible, unicorn stuffed animals are the best way for a child to experience a little bit of mythical magic. Some online stores happen to have a wonderful three foot long unicorn stuffed animal that comes complete with its own saddle and reins. If a child has ever imagined what it might feel like to ride a unicorn, they can now experience it with this very unique unicorn stuffed animal.

Even though unicorns have been depicted for centuries in folk tales, poems, songs, and stories, they remain one of the greatest unsolved mysteries of the world. There is wide held belief that unicorns actually existed, but not one has seen one in many a century. In addition, the horse-like, white animal we are used to in the west, is far different from the animal that is depicted in Chinese folklore in the east. The only commonality between the two, is the unicorn’s single horn. Any unicorn stuffed animal that you purchase today, is of the same description we see in the movies and on television; they are generally white (though colors can vary from pinks to blues and so on), have horse-like bodies and features, in addition to a single horn on its forehead. Given its Western traditional looks, a child will have no problem identifying a unicorn stuffed animal.

Unicorns were said to have first appeared about 5,000 years ago to give the secrets of a written language to Chinese Emperor Fu Hsi. In 2697 B.C., some 4,700 years ago, another unicorn appeared, this time in the garden of the Chinese Yellow emperor Huang Di. The emperor believed that the sighting meant the reign of his kingdom would be long and peaceful. 

Like China, there were other Asian countries that also believed in unicorns. In Japan, unicorns were known as ‘Kirin’ and had the body of a bull and a shaggy mane. Unlike China, however, where they believed unicorns were good, unicorns in Japan were a source of fear, especially to criminals. It was believed that Japanese unicorns could detect guilt and as a result, judges would call upon these creatures during legal disputes so as to determine which of the parties were guilty. The unicorn would stare at the guilty party..

Whatever you believe about unicorns, it is hard to take away the purity and all around good children see in them. They seem to have the ability to tap into a child’s very vivid imagination to the point that they really do believe they exist. It should not come as a surprise then, that a child might prefer a unicorn stuffed animal over an iconic teddy bear, simply because of the magic and mystery they represent.


T Rex Stuffed Animal & History

Filed under: Uncategorized — bigstuffedanimals @ 5:53 pm

There is no point in trying to figure out why some children (and adults) are attracted to certain things, even animals, that are the very definition of terrifying. It seems the scarier ‘something’ is, the more appealing it becomes. When it comes to animals in particular, it doesn’t get more bone-chilling than a Tyrannosaurus Rex – the massive meat-eating dinosaur that has been frighteningly depicted in many Hollywood films, most notably, “Jurassic Park.”

It should come as no surprise to anyone, that T Rex stuffed animals are an extremely popular plush toy. In fact, just about anything T Rex related, flies quickly off the shelves. He is after all, the very epitome of fear, which for some, is a prerequisite when it comes to soft toys. Some online stores have two very big T Rex stuffed animals to choose from. One, is three feet tall and has a perfectly designed menacing face and head. The other – 32 inches tall – looks a little less frightening (if that’s possible), even though he has a gaping mouth which shows off his many rows of ‘teeth’ (all made of soft plush).

Everything about Tyrannosaurus rex, speaks to the enormous power he had; from his four-foot long jaw to his eight-inch long teeth. In 1902, when an almost complete skeleton of one was found, Paleontologists were stunned. They knew however, just from the size of its bones, that this was one of the biggest flesh-eating dinosaurs of all time. Its body alone would have extended the entire width of a tennis court. And, the rest of its frame was made up of seven tons of muscle and other tissues.

There is much debate, even today, on how T rex went about eating. Given his arms were so short, he would not have been able to lift food to his mouth. There is speculation that he may have simply been a scavenger, eating the food leftover from other animals’ kills or, stole their kills from them, which seems more likely given his size and power advantage. The other theory subscribes to the fact that T Rex lay in wait for his victims and then charged at them with his large, toothy mouth wide open. He would have then used a “puncture and pull technique (like a shark) to make the final ‘kill.’

Amazingly, despite its size, Tyrannosaurus rex was able to run at speeds close to that of  Olympian sprinters – 20 miles per hour for short distances. They had four-toed feet on pillar shaped hind legs, which they could use both for traction and grasping their prey. And, despite their weak looking short arms, their strength was such that they could have easily bench-pressed two adult humans at the same time [with just one of those arms].

If you or your child has a deep fascination with dinosaurs, you are not alone. As is the case, if you haven’t take the plunge already, don’t wait too much longer to go out and get yourself a T Rex stuffed animal – you will happy that you did.


Stuffed Hippo & Facts

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What would you do if you had a stuffed hippo? Would  you love it and cuddle it or just have it follow you into every possible imaginary adventure you can think of? Maybe you would do both. Whatever you decide, a stuffed hippo will bring you loads of fun.

Hippos are the third-largest living land mammal next to elephants and white rhinos. It’s hide alone, can weigh as much as half a ton.  In Africa, the hippo continues to both live and thrive. There are two hippo species,  the larger of the two can be found in East Africa, south of the Sahara, and the smaller – the pygmy hippo (weighing just 440 – 605 pounds) – makes its home in West Africa.

Hippos are blessed with four webbed toes so when they stand on land, their feet splay out evenly to distribute their enormous weight. They have grey bodies with very thick skin that is devoid of hair. They also don’t have sweat glands, so to remain cool in the African sun, they use water or mud as a means of  beating the heat. To protect their skin from the suns rays, their bodies secrete a red fluid.

Baby hippos are either born on land or in shallow water. If born in the water, mom helps it get to the surface and then later teaches it how to swim. Babies weigh 55 to 120 pounds when born and when young, can remain under water for half a minute. Adults, on the other hand, can do so for six minutes. To suckle under water, young hippos take a deep breath, close their ears and nostrils and then get milk from their mother. At 3 weeks of age, a young hippo will begin to eat grass but will go on suckling for close to a year.

At night, hippos leave the water and make their way up steep embankments to eat grass. They typically leave and go back into the water in the exact same spots and will eat on land anywhere from four to five hours. They are known for travelling 1 to 2 miles while grazing and have even gone as far as 5 miles.

Luckily for you, your stuffed hippo won’t require grass or water. Nor will its skin need to be protected from the hot sun. Stuffed hippo’s, of course, are covered in soft, plush fur and underneath it all, there is no such thing as red fluid waiting to protect them – which is a good thing given that it could get awfully messy!


Shark Stuffed Animal & Facts

Filed under: Uncategorized — bigstuffedanimals @ 5:44 pm

While a shark stuffed animal might not be your first choice of soft toy for your child, don’t be surprised if that’s the one they really want. After all, a shark stuffed animal comes complete with teeth (the plush kind) if you choose to go with the Great White species, making it all the more authentic as compared to  a less imposing type of soft toy – a teddy bear, for example.

A recent study published in the Journal of Zoology, claims that great white sharks uses geographic profiling, an investigative technique applied to the hunting patterns. Researchers discovered that while sharks do kill for food, when they do, they stalk their prey while remaining out of sight. Geographic profiling is the first time such a technique has ever been used on a marine species. 340 great white shark attacks were observed of Cape fur seals, located off Seal Island in False Bay, South Africa. With the use of radar charts, researchers were able to plot the attack sites so they could look at the distribution of the encounters and also take note of where the attacks began and ended. Normally, the frequency of the attacks should have been related to how dense the population of the prey was with sharks lying in wait where most of the seals gathered. The results of the study, however, showed that was not the case. Instead, sharks were positioning themselves close to 328 feet from the island at water depths of about 82 feet. It is believed that the rational behind this technique was that it struck just the right balance for the shark to be close enough to attack but still not close enough to be detected [by the seals]. Large adult sharks also had very specific points from which they anchored themselves which is where they would launch their attacks repeatedly. Younger, smaller sharks, however, did not show the same focus.

Researchers believe the differences between older and younger sharks’ attack strategies was based on refined hunting skills which they could only learn over time – older sharks would have the advantage and as a result could dominate younger sharks and keep them away from the best hunting areas. When it comes to hunting for seals, sharks must be very smart in their attack strategies as seals can inflict serious damage on them.

If you’re looking for the best possible great white shark stuffed animal, online stores have a great selection. Some have a 3 foot great white shark stuffed animal that comes with an open mouth displaying lots of ‘sharp’ teeth – a terrific replica of the real thing.


Yorkshire Terrier Stuffed Animal October 28, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — bigstuffedanimals @ 8:35 pm

Yorkshire Terriers originated in the mid-19th century around the industrial heartlands of northern England. They were bred by working men, for whom a large dog would have been difficult to keep, but who wanted a lively companion.  Their probable forebears are the old Black-and-Tan Terriers, the Maltese, and the now extinct Clysedale Terrier. From each litter the smallest dogs were selected for breeding and the Yorkshire Terrier gradually “shrank” to the proportions we see today.

Yorkshire Terriers or “Yorkies,” as they are more commonly referred to, make an ideal pet for someone that is not partial to big dogs. For those unfortunate enough to have allergies to dogs, a Yorkshire Terrier stuffed animal is likely the next best thing to having one. In addition, if your child has a plush toy collection that consists of different dog breeds, adding a Yorkshire Terrier stuffed animal to the already existent assembly of canines is a must.

Even though Yorkies are tiny, don’t be fooled by their small size. Despite being so little, they are surprisingly domineering and make very good watch dogs. Amazingly, Yorkies excel in some of what are considered to be large dog breed sports such as flyball, agility training, and tracking. Although Yorkies only weigh up to seven pounds, they have huge personalities that have won over many a persons heart. They are loyal, brave, clever, and full of energy and are completely oblivious to the fact that they are so small.

Another benefit to having a Yorkshire Terrier stuffed animal over the real thing, is that the daily maintenance that is required of the breed, becomes a non-issue. A Yorkshire Terrier stuffed animal is low on the care scale in terms of clipping its nails, and grooming its coat, which is something that is a frequent requirement with the breed. With a Yorkies long silky coat, it’s necessary to enure that knots and tangles don’t form, thus almost daily brushing is a must.

Given there is some debate over whether or not Yorkies make good family pets, having a Yorkshire Terrier stuffed animal instead, takes the worry out of whether or not it will get along with young children that may be in the home. Like most small dog breeds, Yorkies are not partial to roughhousing, thus many breeders do not recommend them for anyone with very young children. Young kids typically don’t quite know their limitations when it comes to pets in the home, thus, unless properly supervised, unintentional accidents can happen; with a Yorkshire Terrier stuffed animal, this will never be a concern.


Wildlife Plush & Facts

Filed under: Uncategorized — bigstuffedanimals @ 8:29 pm

Wildlife plush are life-like stuffed animals that represent every animal found in nearly every corner of the globe. It’s for this very reason, wildlife plush are so popular with children. From unusual and lesser known animals like the poison dart frog to the always endearing koala, there is no denying that there is something for everyone.

Over the years, the attention to both detail and realism of wildlife plush, has been significant and as a  result, they are more in demand than they ever were. From the stand alone plush toy, to wildlife plush that are made into puppets, an entirely new world of play has opened up for a child. Puppets are toys that both engage and delight children of all ages and help encourage imagination and improve concentration. With the fascination they hold for them, puppets can often assist in helping a child overcome their shyness. In addition, puppets are often used by therapists so that children that have been traumatized, can feel more secure in opening up and expressing their feelings.

In popular culture, the term ‘wildlife’ refers to animals that have remained untouched by anything to do with human factors, though most scientists believe that human activities around the world has impacted wildlife in one way or another. Wildlife is made up of all non-domesticated plants and animals and can be found in all ecosystems – rain forests, deserts, and plains. There are even a number of urban sites which can boast a wide variety of wildlife thanks to the unfortunate loss of many a habitat. Children often come into contact with wildlife when they visit zoos and animal parks or they may even be lucky enough to see some of it in their own backyard. Television and movies are also responsible for exposing  children to many species of wildlife, thus combined with their real-life ‘experiences,’ they typically will ask for wildlife plush so as to have reminders of their favorites.

Various governments and organizations around the world are involved in and responsible for wildlife matters. This includes the protection and management of different species of migratory birds, wildlife habitat, and endangered species. In addition, they conduct research on wildlife issues which nationally  affect their countries and the world. For promotional purposes, wildlife plush are often used to bring awareness to a particular species. For example, the WWF (World Wildlife Fund), is one of the leading conservation organizations around the world and their website boasts a number of wildlife plush that can be purchased when an ‘adoption’ is made of one the endangered animals in the world (such as tigers and panda’s).  

Wildlife plush are not just cute and cuddly stuffed animals – they serve as a constant reminder of just how important their existence is to the planet. While children benefit from hours of play and constant companionship with their wildlife plush, they also serve as ambassadors to the world reminding us that we all play an important role in their continued survival.