Resources

This page includes information and materials to help you produce your entry at home. The Home Resource Packs below are arranged by school year and include activities that will guide you as you create your entry. The gallery below that has photographs that will inspired you to create something amazing.

Hints and tips for producing artwork

If you want to win you’ve got to please the judges.  These are guidelines that will give you some top tips for artworks that will wow the panel.

Gallery

If you’re searching for inspiration for your entries take a look at the images below.

The images and information give you a taste of the collections, help you prepare your entries and inspire ideas for what you might create.

Extinct animals

These are examples of creatures that have gone extinct.

A foot and two huge leg bones reaching from floor to ceiling

1. Diplodocus leg

The Diplodocus was a plant-eating dinosaur that died out around 145 million years ago at the end of the Jurassic period. The dinosaur was around 26 metres long and the leg almost touches the museum roof! This is a cast of the dinosaur bones; it’s actually the very same dinosaur that used to be on display at the Natural History Museum in London, called Dippy. Dippy is also a cast. The real fossils are on display in the USA.

two casts on shelves one above the other; top cast is of a dodo skull , and the lower cast is of a dodo head. The most prominent feature is the long large round beak.

2. Cast of a Dodo Head

The dodo was a bird that couldn’t fly that lived on the island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean. It went extinct after humans arrived there in the 1500s. It was hunted by humans and by other species that humans brought with them. Their habitat was also destroyed. Because dodos had been hunted by other animals before they didn’t know to be scared of humans, so didn’t run away. This made them easy to catch.

Moa skeleton - large two legged bird

3. Moa Skeleton

The moa was a big bird that couldn’t fly. It lived in New Zealand. Humans first arrived in New Zealand in around 1300 and hunted the moa, causing its extinction sometime in the 1400s. Just like the dodo, very few animals hunted the moa, making them easy to catch for the first people on the islands.

Faun colored mouse with a tail that is as long as its body and pinkish round ears.

4. St Kilda House Mouse

St Kilda is a set of small islands off the coast of Scotland. People lived there until 1930. The St Kilda House Mouse lived off the food in people’s houses. When humans left the island, the House Mouse had nothing to eat and went extinct. The St Kilda House Mouse is a rare example of animals going extinct because humans have left, rather than because humans have arrived.

Tasmanian wolf - four legged creature with stripes on it back, which get stronger towards its thin tail.

5. Tasmanian Wolf

The Tasmanian Wolf is also called the thylacine. It had a striped back and a lived in Tasmania. The government of Tasmania offered rewards for killing a Tasmanian wolf because they attacked sheep. This, as well as disease and the introduction of wild dogs, caused the Tasmanian wolf to go extinct. The last known one was shot in 1930.

Endangered and vulnerable animals

When scientists think that a species will become extinct in the near future it is said to be endangered.  There are many reasons why creatures become endangered.

Elephant skull viewed from the front with tusks to either side.

6. Elephant skull and tusks

There are different types of elephant, some more endangered than others. The Asian Elephant is endangered because people hunt it for its tusks, which are made of ivory, and because of disease. The large hole in the middle of the elephant skull is its nose. The trunk is not made of bone, so you can’t see it on the skull.

Gorilla and chimpanzee skeletons. The gorilla's skull has prominent ridges, the chimpanzee skull does not. Both have long arms which easily reach their feet.

7. Gorilla and chimpanzee skeletons

Some species of gorilla (left) are critically endangered, while the chimpanzee (right) is endangered. Both are threatened due to hunting and deforestation, when the forests and jungles where they live are chopped down either for wood or to make room for other crops. Disease is also a very serious problem – because they are like humans, we can easily pass on diseases to chimpanzees.

Pangolin - four legged creature with a tiny head, and huge overlapping scales on its back and legs. Its front paws have prominent claws.

8. Pangolin

The pangolin is a small mammal covered in scales that lives in India. It eats insects and roles itself into a ball to protect itself from tigers. Pangolins are endangered; each one can only have one baby a year and they are hunted for their scales, which are used in traditional Chinese Medicine, and their meat, which is a luxury food.

Rhino skull - large squareish teeth, and the horn is pointing forwards and down towards the front of the jaw

9. Rhino skull

There are many types of rhino and most of them are endangered or critically endangered. There are fewer than 100 Sumatran Rhinos left in the world today. Rhinos face various threats, including changes to their habitat, which means less of the plants that they eat can grow. The biggest threat is hunting for their horns, which are used in traditional Chinese medicine. The horn on the skull in the photograph has been removed.

Green turtle - viewed from the front, so you can see its head and front flippers with the curve of its shell behind.

10. Green turtle

The green turtle lives in the seas around tropical and subtropical oceans. They are endangered. Lots of green turtles get accidentally caught in fishing nets or are hit by boats. As well as this, humans build on the seashores where they usually nest, making it harder for them to have babies.

A faun colored Scottish wildcat with a startled expression and very prominent incisors.

11. Scottish wildcat

Scottish wildcats used to live throughout the UK and are now found mainly in the Highlands of Scotland. There are around 400 wildcats in Scotland. They are disappearing because of breeding with domestic cats, which also pass on diseases. Wildcats are very ferocious. The traditional saying “Touch not the cat bot a glove” means “Don’t touch the cat without a glove.” Scottish wildcats have protected status in the UK.

Red panda - four legged furry creature with a fluffy tail. The fur on its face is cream with some russet stripes. Its back fur is also russet-colored, and its legs have darker brown fur.

12. Red panda

The red panda doesn’t look much like the black and white panda you might think of. They live in India, China and Nepal and are endangered. They are threatened by hunters and deforestation. The chopping down of forests makes it harder for different pandas to meet, which makes breeding more difficult. Farm animals also trample the bamboo that red pandas eat, meaning that there’s less food for them.

Animals that are well suited to their environment

Lots of animals have special bodies and skills that help them live where they do. This might be by helping them to hide from animals that want to eat them, helping them to eat or to live in places where lots of other animals couldn’t, like the desert! We call these special features “adaptations”.

Head and shoulder side-view of an anteater. Its front legs have 3 toes with very prominent claws.It has a long thin snout and an even longer thinner tongue]

13. Anteater

Anteaters need to eat thousands of insects everyday to survive. Anteaters live in forests and savannahs in South and Central America and some need to visit 200 ant nests every day. To allow them to catch lots of ants quickly they have a long, sticky tongue and no teeth.

A white fox looking towards the viewer. It has a darkish tail.

14. Arctic fox

Most foxes are red, but why might an arctic fox be white? It lives in the snow, so this is an excellent form of camouflage, allowing it to sneak up on animals that it wants to eat or hide from animals that might be hunting it. Climate change means that it can’t hide as easily, making it easier for the bigger red fox to find and eat it.

An armadillo standing up. It has four legs, a scaly back and a sparsely hairy underbelly.

15. Armadillo

How does this little creature protect itself? The word armadillo comes from the Spanish word for little armour! It’s covered in hard scales and roles itself into a ball when predators come. It’s like the knight in shining armour of the animal kingdom.

Mandrill seated with its left paw raised. It has a very blue face, contrasting with a variegated brown body.

16. Mandrill

Mandrills are the largest type of monkey alive today and they are the most colourful of all mammals. They have red and blue faces and colourful bottoms. Scientists think there may be a number of reasons for this; the strongest mandrills have the brightest faces, so this lets other mandrills know who’s in charge; it also makes the males more attractive to females. Mandrills move in large groups, so the bright bottoms may help them follow each other in the dark.

Crocodile mounted on a wall with its mouth open towards the viewer, with a lot of pointy teeth!

17. Crocodile

Crocodiles are reptiles that live all over the world in tropic and subtropical regions, like the Southern USA, central America, much of Africa, India and northern Australia. They have excellent vision, especially at night, and an excellent sense of smell. This helps them to catch food.  They have excellent camouflage and can hide well in muddy water or among the plants by a river. This also helps them catch their prey. They can also close their nostrils when they go under water and have webbed feet to help them swim quickly.

28 butterflies in a case, showing the difference in markings between male and female examples of each species.

18. Butterflies

Butterflies have bright colours and sometimes have patterns that look like eyes. Maybe these are to scare off predators.

moths and larvae in a case.

19. Moths

It’s usually easy to tell the difference between a moth and a butterfly; butterflies are brightly coloured, but moths are darker. Their brown colour is good camouflage and makes it harder to spot them.

Camel skeleton - long spinal processes especially where the hump would be

20. Camel skeleton

Most animals would die quickly in the desert, but not the camel! Camels have humps made of fat, which give them energy and can be changed into water. This allows them to go a long time without eating or drinking, which is really important in the desert. Their big feet stop them sinking into the sand, making it easier to walk. Plus they have three eyelids, which means that they don’t get sand in their eyes. One of the eyelids is really thin, so camels can see through it without opening their eye.

A chameleon with its tongue sticking out

21. Chameleon

The chameleon is perfectly built to survive. It can change colour, so that it’s always camouflaged. Its colour changes also help it “talk” to other chameleons. Its long tongue can shoot out in less than a second to catch the insects that it needs to eat.

A zebra surrounded by skeletons in a museum display

22. Zebra

Why are zebras stripy? Believe it or not, it’s a type of camouflage. The pattern on its sides help it hide among tall grass.

A warthog - piglike creature with four tusks sticking out of its mouth

23. Warthog

If you live in the savannah and not much is growing in the dry season, what can you eat? The warthog has tusks, a strong snout and feet that help them dig to find food, often bulbs and roots. They can use their tusks to fight, but usually they can run away quickly if threatened.

Animal artworks

Painting of a flock of penguins who look like they're swimming underwater

24. Back from fishing by Paul Bartlett

Paul Bartlett is a local artist who lives in Fife. This picture shows penguins in the water and is a collage, mixing paints and newspaper cuttings.

Copyright Paul Bartlett

painting of three moa stepping between tall thin tree trunks and leafy undergrowth

25. Male Moa by Paul Bartlett

Here the extinct Moa are hiding among the trees. Paul has painted the bits of paper before sticking them onto the picture. This makes a pattern that shows how animals can camouflage themselves; it’s not just the colour that helps, but the pattern too.

Copyright Paul Bartlett

colourful painting of four tasmanian wolves surrounding a kangaroo-like creature

26. Moonlight Hunt by Paul Bartlett

Paul Bartlett shows some Tasmanian Wolves, which are now extinct, after they’ve captured another animal. The patterns that he has created by using pieces of paper in a collage shows how they can hide themselves in the darkness.

Copyright Paul Bartlett

Sketch of an anteater with a long fluffy tail, and a long thin snout with its tongue sticking out

26. Anteater by Lara Scouller

Lara has used pastels and charcoal to show the anteater. Pastels allow the artist to smudge the colours to make different shades; black can be smudged to look grey. It also makes it easier to show the different textures of the animal. You’ve got to be careful though; it’s easy to get your finger prints on your artwork when using pastels!

Copyright Lara Scouller

All images © Museum Collections, University of St Andrews unless otherwise stated.
Images may be downloaded and printed for educational purposes only.

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