Wild October

Wild October is a project much like Inktober but the prompts have to do with animals. And since I’m an animal lover, I thought why not? 😀

This was hosted by artist, Zoe Keller. 
It was fun to do and I love and hope my drawings can educate people about the wonderful creatures that roam our planet 🙂

These were done with Winsor & Newton Watercolours with Tombow Fudenosuke pens

During my time painting this, I have learned that my local zoo is struggling to keep it alive during this corona period and is facing a financial crisis in order to keep afloat. They are currently eating through their emergency funds. I thought it would be a good opportunity to put these prompts to a good cause. I have illustrated, scanned, edited, compiled relevant information in regard to the prompts and uploaded everything to my site in hopes to ease your experience in viewing my works. I love animals and I hope it could inspire and educate you on them.

If you are a non-Malaysian, you may donate to my paypal account in which I will collect and donate to the zoo.
*90% of the proceeds will go to the zoo.


If you are a Malaysian, you can donate to them directly
Malaysian Zoological Society
Maybank Berhad
*Once you have completed the transaction, donor can email the proof to pr@zoonegaramalaysia.my for their record and issuance of official receipt.

1: Things With Wings: Flying Fox

The large flying fox is noted for being one of the largest bats. It feeds exclusively on fruits, nectar, and flower. As with nearly all other Old World fruit bats, it lacks the ability to echolocate but compensates for it with well-developed eyesight. The large flying fox ranges from Malay Peninsula, to the Philippines in the east and Indonesian Archipelago. In Peninsular Malaysia. As of 2008, the large flying fox is evaluated as a near-threatened species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The large flying fox is hunted for bushmeat. Additionally, it is experiencing habitat loss through deforestation.

2: Symbiosis: Angler Fish

The anglerfish are a bony fish named for its method of predation, in which a modified fin ray that can be luminescent acts as a lure for it’s prey. The luminescence comes from symbiotic bacteria, which are thought to be acquired from seawater that dwell in and around the esca. As angler fish are found in the abyss, finding food is hard but finding a mate is much harder. When a male finds a female, he bites into her skin, and releases an enzyme that digests the skin of his mouth and her body, fusing the pair down to the blood-vessel level. The male becomes dependent on the female host for survival by receiving nutrients via their shared circulatory system, and provides sperm to the female in return.

3: In The Deep: Cave Salamander

A cave salamander is a type of salamander that primarily or exclusively inhabits caves, This illustration depicts an olm, the only exclusively cave-dwelling chordate species found in Europe. It eats, sleeps, and breeds underwater. This cave salamander is most notable for its adaptations to a life of complete darkness in its underground habitat. The olm’s eyes are undeveloped, leaving it blind, while its other senses, particularly those of smell and hearing, are acutely developed. It also lacks any pigmentation in its skin.

4: Teeth & Claws: Polar Bear

The polar bear’s native range lies largely within the Arctic Circle. It is the largest extant bear species, as well as the largest extant predatory carnivore. Their feet are very large to distribute load when walking on snow or thin ice and to provide propulsion when swimming.  The polar bear’s claws are short and stocky, perhaps to serve the bear’s need to grip heavy prey and ice. The claws are deeply scooped on the underside to assist in digging in the ice of the natural habitat. The 42 teeth of a polar bear reflect its highly carnivorous diet. Polar bears have long provided important raw materials for Arctic peoples, among of which large canine teeth were highly valued as talismans

5: Shed: Penguins

Penguins are a group of aquatic flightless birds highly adapted for life in the water. Penguins have countershaded dark and white plumage and flippers for swimming. Newly hatched baby penguins have fluffy feathers that keep them warm. Although they have their own feathers, they still rely on their parents to keep them warm until their adult set of feathers grow in. During their tender age, chicks are covered with fine down feathers. They cannot go into the water until they have lost their fluffy brown juvenile down that is an excellent insulator in the air, but a very poor insulator when wet. They will not return again to breed until they are at least 3 years old, when they will usually return to the site where they were born and continue to do so through-out their life.

6: Metamorphosis: Dragonfly

Dragonflies spend most of their lives in their larval stage. They undergo incomplete metamorphosis; unlike other winged insects, such as butterflies, dragonflies do not have a pupal stage and transition straight from a larva to an adult. This transition, the final larval moult, takes place out of water. The final-stage larvae sit in shallow water, near the margins, for several days, getting ready for their final moult and starting to breathe air. After finding a secure support, they redistribute their body fluids, pushing the thorax, head, legs and wings out of the larval skin. There is then a pause of about 30 minutes to allow their legs to harden enough for the next stage, when the abdomen is withdrawn. The wings, and then the abdomen, are expanded and start to harden. This process leaves behind a cast skin, called an exuvia.

7: Misunderstood: Sharks

The power of media is able to influence millions of people around the world which can have negative consequences although unintentional. When Jaws came out in 1975, it portrayed a Great White Shark as something to be feared the moment you set foot in the waters at the beach. It was loosely based on a real incident and although sharks do kill people, the likelihood of that happening is so minimal, you have a much higher chance of dying from a traffic accident. As a result, it has inspired people to go on a killing frenzy. Humans kill around one hundred million sharks per year; they, on the other hand, attack only about 19 people a year (typically mistaking the person for a seal) and kill less than one person a year on average. Sharks are apex predators and thus play a very important role in the ecosystem to keep various fish and plankton populations in check.

8: Animals In Love: Albatross

Albatross courtship is unique among seabirds, both in its complexity and its duration. Males and females engage in a coordinated “dancing” display, in which the partners face one another and perform stereotyped and often synchronized behaviors. These displays are performed in repeating cycles for up to an hour each, numerous times per day. This behavior allows potential mates to evaluate each others’ suitability as long-term partners.
Once formed, pair bonds in albatrosses appear to be life-long. After the initial courtship phase is over, the elaborate courtship rituals are much reduced or abandoned altogether in subsequent years. Researchers believe that these displays function more in pair formation than in the maintenance of the pair bond.

9: Spineless: Stichopus Chloronotus

Stichopus chloronotus is a species of sea cucumber.  It is native to the Indo-Pacific region. Stichopus chloronotus is a detritivore and sifts through the sediment on the seabed with its tentacles and feeds on detritus and other organic matter including plant and animal remains, bacteria, protozoa, diatoms and faeces. In the process it swallows a lot of sand and plays an important part in churning up and aerating the seabed. Stichopus chloronotus can reproduce asexually by undergoing transverse fission, forming two new individuals which each regenerate the missing parts. It can also reproduce sexually.

10: Migration: Monarch Butterfly

Monarch butterfly migration is the phenomenon, mainly across North America, where the subspecies Danaus plexippus plexippus migrates each summer and autumn. The monarchs begin their southern migration from September to October. Eastern and northeastern populations, up to 500,000 monarch butterflies, migrate at this time. Originating in southern Canada and the United States, they travel to overwintering sites in central Mexico. The butterflies arrive at their roosting sites in November. They remain in their roosts during the winter months and then begin their northern migration in March. No individual butterfly completes the entire round trip. Female monarchs lay eggs for a subsequent generation during the northward migration. Four generations are involved in the annual cycle.

11: Fur & Fluff: Harp Seal Pup

Named after the dark, harp-shaped patterns on the backs of adult seals, harp seals are widespread in the chilly waters of the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans. At birth, snowy-white harp seal pups weigh about 22 pounds, and their mother’s high-fat milk quickly helps them gain a whopping five pounds per day. After the 12-day nursing period pups bulk up to around 55 pounds. Then the female harp seals abandon their pups on the ice and begin breeding again. The pups stay put on the ice for up to six weeks, losing nearly 50 percent of their body weight because they aren’t ready to feed at sea. They also shed their white coats, growing a silvery-grey coat with black spots. The spots along their back gradually grown as they get older, and eventually merge into the distinctive harp-shaped pattern when seals reach sexual maturity, at about five years old.

12: My Favourite: Fox

Foxes are small to medium-sized, omnivorous mammals belonging to several genera of the family Canidae. Unlike many canids, foxes are not always pack animals. Typically, they live in small family groups, but some (such as Arctic foxes) are known to be solitary. The fox appears in many cultures, usually in folklore. In Western and Persian folklore, foxes are symbols of cunning and trickery. In Asian folklore, foxes are depicted as familiar spirits possessing magic powers. Similarly, foxes are portrayed as mischievous, usually tricking other people, with the ability to disguise as an attractive female human. Nine-tailed foxes appear in Chinese folklore, literature, and mythology.

*also, the fact that my partner’s alias is named Darkfox 😛 Thanks Yris for helping me figure out this prompt hehe.

13: Dwelling: Hermit Crab

Hermit crabs have adapted to occupy empty scavenged shells to protect their fragile exoskeletons. Most species have long, spirally curved abdomens. The vulnerable abdomen is protected from predators by a salvaged empty seashell carried by the hermit crab, into which its whole body can retract. Most frequently, hermit crabs use the shells of sea snails and even hollow pieces of wood and stone are used by some species. As hermit crabs grow, they require larger shells. Since suitable intact gastropod shells are sometimes a limited resource, vigorous competition often occurs. The availability of empty shells at any given place depends on the relative abundance of gastropods and hermit crabs, matched for size. Hermit crabs kept together may fight or kill a competitor to gain access to the shell they favour. Hermit crabs with too small shells cannot grow as fast as those with well-fitting shells, and are more likely to be eaten if they cannot retract completely into the shell.

14: Camoflage: Frogmouth

The frogmouths are a group of nocturnal birds related to the nightjars. They are named for their large flattened hooked bill and huge frog-like gape, which they use to capture insects. One of the best examples of cryptic plumage and mimicry in Australian birds is seen in the tawny frogmouth, which perch low on tree branches during the day camouflaged as part of the tree. Their plumage allows them to freeze into the form of a broken tree branch and become practically invisible in broad daylight. The tawny frogmouth often chooses a broken part of a tree branch and perches upon it with its head thrust upwards at an acute angle using its very large, broad beak to emphasise the resemblance.

15: In My Backyard: Sunbird

Sunbirds and spiderhunters make up the family Nectariniidae of passerine birds. They are small, slender passerines from the Old World, usually with downward-curved bills. Many are brightly coloured, often with iridescent feathers, particularly in the males. Species diversity is highest in equatorial regions. Most sunbirds feed largely on nectar, but will also eat insects and spiders, especially when feeding their young. Flowers that prevent access to their nectar because of their shape (for example, very long and narrow flowers) are simply punctured at the base near the nectaries, from which the birds sip the nectar. Fruit is also part of the diet of some species. Their flight is fast and direct, thanks to their short wings.

16: Pollinators: Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds are birds native to the Americas and are the smallest of birds. They are known as hummingbirds because of the humming sound created by their beating wings, which flap at high frequencies audible to humans. Hummingbirds have the highest mass-specific metabolic rate of any homeothermic animal. To conserve energy when food is scarce and nightly when not foraging, they can go into torpor, a state similar to hibernation, and slow their metabolic rate to 1/15th of its normal rate. Hummingbirds are specialized nectarivores and are tied to the ornithophilous flowers upon which they feed. This coevolution implies that morphological traits of hummingbirds, such as bill length, bill curvature, and body mass are correlated with morphological traits of plants

17: Keystone Species: Orangutan

Orangutans are great apes native to Indonesia and Malaysia. They are among the most intelligent primates. They use a variety of sophisticated tools and construct elaborate sleeping nests each night from branches and foliage. The apes’ learning abilities have been studied extensively. The name “orangutan” is derived from the Malay words orang, meaning “person”, and hutan, meaning “forest”. The locals originally used the name to refer to actual forest-dwelling human beings Orang-utans are known as gardeners of the forest. They play a vital role in seed dispersal and in maintaining the health of the forest ecosystem, which is important for people and a host of other animals, including tigers, Asian elephants and Sumatran rhinos. Human activities have caused severe declines in populations and ranges. Threats to wild orangutan populations include poaching, habitat destruction because of palm oil cultivation, and the illegal pet trade.

18: Tiny: Hamsters

Hamsters are rodents (order Rodentia) belonging to the subfamily Cricetinae. A behavioral characteristic of hamsters is food hoarding. They carry food in their spacious cheek pouches to their underground storage chambers. When full, the cheeks can make their heads double, or even triple in size. Hamsters lose weight during the autumn months in anticipation of winter. This occurs even when hamsters are kept as pets and is related to an increase in exercise. All hamsters are excellent diggers, constructing burrows with one or more entrances, with galleries connected to chambers for nesting, food storage, and other activities. They use their fore- and hindlegs, as well as their snouts and teeth, for digging.

19: Enormous: Humpback Whale

The humpback has a distinctive body shape, with long pectoral fins and a knobbly head. It is known for breaching and other distinctive surface behaviors, making it popular with whale watchers. Found in oceans and seas around the world, humpback whales typically migrate up to 25,000 km (16,000 mi) each year. They feed in polar waters, and migrate to tropical or subtropical waters to breed and give birth, fasting and living off their fat reserves. Their diet consists mostly of krill and small fish. Humpbacks have a diverse repertoire of feeding methods, including the bubble net technique. They feed only rarely and opportunistically in their wintering waters.

20: Tentacles: Blue Ringed Octopus

Blue-ringed octopuses, comprising the genus Hapalochlaena, are four highly venomous species of octopus that are found in tide pools and coral reefs in the Pacific and Indian oceans, from Japan to Australia. They are recognized as one of the world’s most venomous marine animals. Despite their small size—12 to 20 cm (5 to 8 in)—and relatively docile nature, they are dangerous to humans if provoked when handled because their venom contains the powerful neurotoxin tetrodotoxin. The blue-ringed octopus, despite its small size, carries enough venom to kill 26 adult humans within minutes. Their bites are tiny and often painless, with many victims not realizing they have been envenomated until respiratory depression and paralysis begins. No blue-ringed octopus antivenom is available

21: Predator & Prey: Cheetah and Impala

Cheetah and impala have been competing for perhaps hundreds of thousands of years. Evolution has tweaked genes to enhance running in both of these animals. The impala is not fast enough to win a race with a cheetah but it does have a trick that evens things out. Instead of running full speed ahead, the impala escapes the cheetah by slowing down and quickly changing direction. Cheetahs can reach 59 mph (94 kph) even when running through vegetation, but they normally run at half this speed. Predators should run only slightly faster than their prey. Prey have the advantage of deciding which way to go and changing direction a split second before the predator can respond.

22: Nocturnal: Barn Owl

Like most owls, the barn owl is nocturnal, relying on its acute sense of hearing when hunting in complete darkness but in Great Britain and some Pacific islands, it also hunts by day. Barn owls specialise in hunting animals on the ground and nearly all of their food consists of small mammal. The diet of the barn owl has been much studied; the items consumed can be ascertained from identifying the prey fragments in the pellets of indigestible matter that the bird regurgitates. The barn owl hunts by flying slowly, quartering the ground and hovering over spots that may conceal prey. It may also use branches, fence posts or other lookouts to scan its surroundings, and this is the main means of prey location in the oil palm plantations of Malaysia. The bird has long, broad wings, enabling it to manoeuvre and turn abruptly. 

23: Stranger Than Fiction: Ribeiroia ondatrae

Ribeiroia ondatrae is a parasite in the genus Ribeiroia which is believed to be responsible for many of the recent increases in amphibian limb malformations, particularly missing, malformed, and additional hind legs.
Ribeiroia ondatrae has an indirect complex life cycle. The adult worms live inside predatory birds or mammals wherein they reproduce sexually if other worms are present. Mature adults release eggs into the host’s intestinal tract, which are passed with the feces of the host, and to develop need to end up in water. Eggs hatch into miracidia, a ciliated free-living parasite stage, which infect the first intermediate host, ram’s horn snails, colonizing the snail’s reproductive tissue and eventually forming rediae, a slow-moving worm-like parasite stage. The rediae reproduce asexually, castrating the snail as they feed on its reproductive tissue. The infection becomes mature in about six weeks, when the rediae within the snail begin to release a second free-swimming stage called cercariae. Cercariae infect amphibians or fish (the second intermediate hosts) wherein they encyst in (with amphibians) the limb buds or (with fish) along the lateral line and scales of the head, body and gills. Encysted cercariae become metacercariae, a dormant parasite stage with a thin outer membrane. The definitive hosts (birds and mammals) become infected when they consume an amphibian or fish that has encysted metacercariae. The life cycle is completed when the metacercariae emerge from their cyst and attach to the definitive host’s intestinal tract and develop into adults.

24: Shelled: Armadillo

Armadillos meaning “little armoured ones” in Spanish are New World placental mammals in the order Cingulata. Armadillos are characterized by a leathery armour shell and long sharp claws for digging. They have short legs, but can move quite quickly. The armour is formed by plates of dermal bone covered in relatively small, overlapping epidermal scales called “scutes”, composed of bone with a covering of horn. Most species have rigid shields over the shoulders and hips, with a number of bands separated by flexible skin covering the back and flanks. Additional armour covers the top of the head, the upper parts of the limbs, and the tail.
This armour-like skin appears to be the main defense of many armadillos, although most escape predators by fleeing or digging to safety. Only the South American three-banded armadillos rely heavily on their armour for protection.
When threatened by a predator, the species frequently roll up into a ball. Other armadillo species cannot roll up because they have too many plates.

25: Slither & Slide: Legless Lizard

Legless lizard may refer to any of several groups of lizards that have independently lost limbs or reduced them to the point of being of no use in locomotion. These lizards are often distinguishable from snakes on the basis of one or more of the following characteristics: possessing eyelids, possessing external ear openings, lack of broad belly scales, notched rather than forked tongue, having two more-or-less-equal lungs, and/or having a very long tail (while snakes have a long body and short tail). It is believed that skinks are losing their limbs because they spend most of their lives swimming through sand or soil; limbs are not only unnecessary for this, but may actually be a hindrance.  The evolution of a snake-like body form in Lerista skinks has occurred not only repeatedly but without any evidence of reversals (that is, fingers or limbs being added back).

26: Communication: Prairie Dogs

Prairie dogs are herbivorous burrowing rodents native to the grasslands of North America. Prairie dogs are named for their habitat and warning call, which sounds similar to a dog’s bark. The prairie dog is well adapted to predators. Using its dichromatic color vision, it can detect predators from a great distance; it then alerts other prairie dogs of the danger with a special, high-pitched call. Constantine Slobodchikoff and others assert that prairie dogs use a sophisticated system of vocal communication to describe specific predators. According to them, prairie dog calls contain specific information as to what the predator is, how big it is and how fast it is approaching. These have been described as a form of grammar. These calls, with their individuality in response to a specific predator, imply that prairie dogs have highly developed cognitive abilities.

27: Lightning Speed: Pistol Shrimp

Pistol shrimp is distinctive for its disproportionate large claw, larger than half the shrimp’s body. The claw can be on either arm of the body, and, unlike most shrimp claws, does not have typical pincers at the end. Rather, it has a pistol-like feature made of two parts. A joint allows the “hammer” part to move backward into a right-angled position. When released, it snaps into the other part of the claw, emitting an enormously powerful wave of bubbles capable of stunning larger fish and breaking small glass jars. The animal snaps a specialized claw shut to create a cavitation bubble that generates acoustic pressures of up to 80 kilopascals (12 psi) at a distance of 4 cm from the claw. As it extends out from the claw, the bubble reaches speeds of 100 km/h (62 mph). The pressure is strong enough to kill small fish. The duration of the click is less than 1 millisecond. The snap can also produce sonoluminescence from the collapsing cavitation bubble. As it collapses, the cavitation bubble reaches temperatures of over 8,000 K (7,700 °C). In comparison, the surface temperature of the sun is estimated to be around 5,772 K (5,500 °C).

28: Poisonous: Puffer Fish

The majority of pufferfish species are toxic and some are among the most poisonous vertebrates in the world. In certain species, the internal organs, such as the liver, and sometimes the skin, contain tetrodotoxin, and are highly toxic to most animals when eaten; nevertheless, the meat of some species is considered a delicacy in Japan and China when prepared by specially trained chefs who know which part is safe to eat and in what quantity. Pufferfish can be lethal if not served properly; often causes intoxication, light-headedness, and numbness of the lips, dizziness, vomiting, numbness and prickling over the body, rapid heart rate, decreased blood pressure, and muscle paralysis. The toxin paralyzes the diaphragm muscle and stops the person who has ingested it from breathing.

29: Acrobats: Gibbons

Also called the lesser apes or small apes, gibbons differ from great apes (chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, orangutans and humans) in being smaller, exhibiting low sexual dimorphism, and not making nests. Their primary mode of locomotion, brachiation, involves swinging from branch to branch for distances up to 15 m (50 ft), at speeds as high as 55 km/h (34 mph). They can also make leaps up to 8 m (26 ft), and walk bipedally with their arms raised for balance. They are the fastest and most agile of all tree-dwelling, nonflying mammals. Their ball-and-socket wrist joints allow them unmatched speed and accuracy when swinging through trees. Nonetheless, their mode of transportation can lead to hazards when a branch breaks or a hand slips, and researchers estimate that the majority of gibbons suffer bone fractures one or more times during their lifetimes.

30: Ecosystem Engineer: Oysters

Oysters are filter feeders, drawing water in over their gills through the beating of cilia. Suspended plankton and particles are trapped in the mucus of a gill, and from there are transported to the mouth, where they are eaten, digested, and expelled as feces or pseudofeces. An oyster can filter up to 5 L (1 1⁄4 US gal) of water per hour. In addition to their gills, oysters can also exchange gases across their mantles, which are lined with many small, thin-walled blood vessels. A small, three-chambered heart, pumps colorless blood to all parts of the body. Two kidneys located on the underside of the muscle, remove waste products from the blood. Assimilation of nitrogen and phosphorus into shellfish tissues provides an opportunity to remove these nutrients from the environment, but this benefit has only recently been recognized As the ecological and economic importance of oyster reefs has become more widely acknowledged, creation of oyster reef habitat through restoration efforts has become more important- often with the goal of restoring multiple ecosystem services associated with natural oyster reefs.

31: At Risk: Sumatran Rhino

The Sumatran rhinoceros, also known as the hairy rhinoceros or Asian two-horned rhinoceros is a rare member of the family Rhinocerotidae and one of five extant species of rhinoceros.  Sumatran rhinoceroses were once quite numerous throughout Southeast Asia. Fewer than 100 individuals are now estimated to remain. The species is classed as critically endangered primarily due to illegal poaching. Most remaining habitat is in relatively inaccessible mountainous areas of Indonesia. Malaysia’s last known male and female Sumatran rhinoceroses died in May and November 2019, respectively. The species is now considered to be locally extinct in that country, and only survives in Indonesia. There are fewer than 80 left in existence. According to the World Wildlife Fund, their numbers are 30.