God Save The King!
And his kingdom!
~ * ~ Coloring pages 2018 ~ * ~
Wow! Welcome 2018! Amazed at what I've done so far - 25 pages plus 17 bonus pages! When I first started, I thought I'd be down to a page a month by now... ^_~ I haven't gotten a lot of feedback, but I know people are coming, so some of you out there think my drawing skills aren't too bad - and don't think my sense of humor is horrible. ^,^ Thanks! ^_^ Hope there's lots of seeds sprouting!
Now, remember, I try to make sure I'm only linking to reputable sites and family-friendly videos on YouTube; but I have no control over what ads they might show or what YouTube "recommends", so be careful out there.
~ * Happy New Year! * ~
I don't watch a lot of TV, but recently got a good antenna so I could get PBS - and found that they have a cool show called Wild Kratts and wanted to share. It teaches a lot of cool things about nature and promotes keeping wildlife "living free and in the wild". If you don't get PBS (or on a station near you), you can watch episodes of Wild Kratts at the PBS Kids website.
The Kratt brothers are lots of fun. - Oh, yeah: Two enthusiastic men (brothers) wonder "what if" they had skills like the animals they're teaching about. Next thing you know, they're cartoons and embarking on creature adventures that explore animal skills and habitats. They're very energetic and make fun with nature educational. ...or is that make education about nature fun? It's hard to tell... ^_~
Most felines have "protractable" claws. This means that they can tense certain muscles to unsheathe their claws. The term "retractable claws" is what I've always heard used, but it's incorrect. To be retractable, their claws would need to be always out and the muscles needed to be tensed to draw them in. That would be very wearing on the animal - to need to walk around with constantly tensed toes. ^,^'
In reality, when their claws are sheathed, those muscles are at rest. They don't draw the claws in, they tense muscles to unsheathe them. So, the correct term is "protractable claws". ~ Did you know that cheetahs don't have claws that fully sheathe like other felines? Their claws are always out and act like cleats.
Lions don't typically climb trees, they're too big to be much good at it, but Africa Geographic shows many lions that like to climb trees with low branches. I do wonder if having more sightings of it now is simply because people weren't looking for lions in trees before. ^_~
The reason Lion was chasing Snow Leopard and Unicorn up the tree in page 26 was going to be because of the "lemon snow" joke. However, as I was drawing, I realized that Lion would know full well yellow snow was not lemon-flavored. ...and ...would roll in it. ^,^' So, the joke ended up being on his naughty snowy-climate friends. ;p
To note: I don't know anyone who ever fell for it. "Don't eat yellow snow!" was always just a joking precaution called out in fun. ^_~ Also, even though a sweater looks cuter to keep Lion warm, a horse blanket would really be more practical.
To purr, or not to purr... The construction of their throats answers that question for them. Basically: Cats that can roar can't purr, and cats that can purr can't roar.
I found conflicting details about ligaments, vocal cords, and hyoid bones. One source even called the bone "epihyal" instead - or is that a totally different bone? To unravel it all and give you correct details, I'd need to spend a lot more time researching it instead of drawing. So, I'm not quoting any of the specifics. What is clear is that purring throats are one way, and roaring throats are another.
Can purr: house cat, lynx, bobcat, ocelot, cougar, cheetah, and others...
Can roar: lion, tiger, leopard, and jaguar.
Snow leopards are on their own: They can't purr or roar, but they can "chuff". It's like a breathy, short purr, and they can't do it continuously like true purring cats. Breathing out through saliva against the roof of your mouth, you can chuff, too. (Careful not to make it a growl.) ^_~
~ Valentines! ~
I'm posting early this week, so you have time to get them done if you decide to use them. Coming up with a lion was easy for me, and I found the adorable elephant idea online. I recommend printing my card-sheet on cardstock or pasting them to pieces of it, or to construction paper or doily hearts, to make them stiffer. If you're going to use the "Lion-of-Hearts" pattern a lot, or keep it for future use, printing it on cardstock will help it last.
You could also glue a paper mane (possibly of small and medium hearts in different colors) around a large, upside-down heart shape and draw, or paste on, eyes, nose, and whisker-dots. Heart-shaped confetti or glitter might be big enough to use for pupils or whiskers.
If you live in the area, WCTL is looking for donations of Valentine's cards that they'll distribute to local places (like hospitals and senior centers) to brighten many people's days. If you'd like to be part of that, check out their Healing Hearts project at WCTL.org - they're accepting cards through Feb. 9. You could use these ones and share your love of animals, too.
And here's my Valentine to all those that do what they can for animals and our planet, even if right now you're still learning. Wise people never stop learning! You're grrreat! ^_^ You can print extra and give finished ones to people you know who are caretakers of animals, or our environment, to let them know their efforts are appreciated. If your parents have social media, you could "share" a photo Valentine to Kevin's family and staff thru the links on his Lion Whisperer site. His wife, Mandy, does a lot for wildlife, too, if you didn't realize. I'm sure they'd love to hear from you!
To purr, or not to purr: Part 2... Another interesting tidbit out there is that the pupils of purr-cats are vertical slits, while roar-cats' are round. I had noticed big cats don't have slitted eyes but didn't connect, until now, that it was related to whether they could purr or roar. Pretty cool info. However, cheetah and pallas cats purr and have round pupils, so it's not definitive.
Digging into it: Ability to purr or roar does not dictate pupil shape - being active at night, or day, does. Feline eyes are extra reflective, enhancing the amount of light let in for better night vision. To protect sensitive eyes from too much light getting in during the day, slitted pupils evolved in those who needed it. ~ Note: Filming during the day is easiest, so we get misleading compilations of mainly daytime hunts and activities. However, lions actually sleep most of the day away and mainly hunt at night or early morning. They don't need slitted pupils.
Also, what I see when watching is that some big cat pupils (like cougar and snow leopard) look oval to me rather than strictly slitted or circular.
UC Berkeley scientists did some research in 2015. They also cite height from the ground as a factor, but I see exceptions to that. (Just skim past anything too technical. There's lots of neat info in there, and a cool video.)
To purr, or not to purr: Part 3... Apparently their latin names divide them as "felis ----" for ones that can purr, and "panthera ----" for ones that roar, like "panthera leo" (lion). Snow leopard is "panthera uncia", but is an exception to the rule and can't roar.
I mentioned before that it's believed the vibrations of purring help with healing as well as communication. Did you know that cats purr when they're injured - not just when they're content? The vibrations strengthen bone and stimulate cell regeneration. (People use vibrating pillows to ease back and neck pain.) Rumbling purrs are thought to also be a way of mother cats to cover up the mewls of their kittens/cubs and keep other predators from being alerted to their vulnerable presence.
Cheetah uniqueness continues with really interesting sounds - like chirping. When Theodore Roosevelt first heard one, he was sure it was a bird! What a cool suprise he had, when he found out the source. Africa Geographic has a video here with brief scenes of chirping and even of a cheetah up a tree. ^_^ Cheetah Spot is all cheetah.
Conservationists studying snow leopards were delighted to discover another wild cat species sharing territory with them. They eat much smaller prey than snow leopards, so the two species aren't in competition and fill different roles in keeping their habitat balanced.
Pallas cats are a small wild cat, weighing only an average of nine pounds. That's lighter than the average housecat, though Pallas cats look bigger: They have the longest, thickest fur of any cat species. They are a purring cat and have round pupils. Their heads are pretty flat on top, with ears on the side of their head instead, in order to keep them from standing out amongst the rocks. Ears being short also protects against the tips getting frostbite in the cold, high altitudes they live in.
Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens talks about the difficulty of breeding them in captivity, Prospect Park Zoo has some good info (even if it's 9yrs old), the PICA site has a video that just really tickles my funnybone, and The Ark In Space has some good info, too.
This page was a given just as soon as I thought of the "Saving lions, one cowhide at a time." page. It just went right into how funny it would be to see them hunting like that. (If you haven't learned it yet, "ctd" is the abbreviation of "continued".)
...If you think this is morbid, just blame spring fever... (...of course, that doesn't excuse the ones I did the rest of the year... ;p)
Here's a fun wildlife comic artist I found a while back: bird and moon. (click on "prev" to go back through them one by one, or "archive" for a list with thumbnails)
During the week of March 2, Kevin reported on his site a terrible happening.
This tragedy illustrates why we try to raise awareness that hand-raised lions from petting zoos cannot be released into the wild. Being habituated to humans makes it dangerous. They are not pets, and they are not wild. They are tragically trapped in-between and why Kevin, The Lion Whisperer, advocates for the practice of cub petting to be stopped.
Kevin's dedicated care of the grown-up predators is extremely rare. For the vast majority, when they grow up, there is no safe place for them. They are only destined for callous slaughter. They cannot simply be released into the wild, because they hold no fear of humans. With the high number of cubs bred, deadly confrontations like this would be rampant.
My heart goes out. It's a horrible thing to need to deal with for everyone involved. Prayers all around, Kevin.
~ * ~ later... Seeing some of the harsh and ignorant comments out there, I felt the need to make my stance clear: Kevin, you are the best spokesperson for the plight of lions. This incident should be used to increase awareness - not end it. We support you and captive lion enrichment.
Theodore Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss, was born on March 2. For about a week surrounding his birthday, many places celebrate the awesome work he did for children. (I forgot it was coming, so didn't have anything ready last week. ^,^) I've always loved his creativity and lack of fear of being different.
Did you know he cared very much about our environment and that we should take better care of it? His book "The Lorax" highlights the destructive and irreversible effects of exploiting habitat without care. It was first published in 1972, and I wish we had come further since then. Too many people aren't taking an interest in their own habitat - the planet that gives them life.
"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not."
Check out some tips from the Lorax at the official Dr. Suess site.
Finally remembered to look into this. ^_^ I've noticed there's a lot of internationally recognized days to celebrate animals, now. Here's a little chart of just some of them. There was only one world celebrated animal day for November and January: World Animal Foundation lists a whole lot more, including national ones the U.S. has.
How do you feel about all this record breaking snowfall in our area? I love snow! ^_^ Unfortunately, Unicorn's feet aren't made to keep her on top of it like Snow Leopard's big paws, and she's not very tall at the shoulder... ^,^' Where do you think Lion is?
The National Snow & Ice Data Center has a section about how snow effects animals.
Of course, by the time I put this page up, it's all melting... ;p
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Be a steward of the Earth.
Coloring pages may be printed from here and made copies of for non-profit, free-of-charge use only. ~ Don't have a printer? Out of ink? Libraries are typically happy to print things like this out for you. Some may charge a small fee, but the one here will print two pages at no charge (last I knew). ~ Please do not hotlink to or use my images on other websites. Simply direct people to my homepage: godsavetheking.neocities.org , thanks! Plant seeds!
[I'm not a professional and have limited resources/access; so the image quality isn't very 'clean' on some - has smudging from erasing, but they print/copy fine. I make the printable images to be around 8x11 inches to fill a sheet of regular letter-size paper.]