Research V – Animals and Natural Habitat

Giant Ibis – Thaumatibis gigantea

As described by IUCN, the giant ibis lives alone, in pairs or small parties. Their natural habitat occur in marshes, pools, wide rivers and seasonal water-meadows. They prefer predominantly deciduous (that loses its leaves in autumn and grows new ones in the spring) dipterocarp lowland forest, although it seems to be dependent on soft mud around seasonal pools (trapaengs). It also nests in these trees, in fact studies show that around 90% of nesting trees are common deciduous dipterocarp species and females almost always lay two eggs per clutch in the wet season (IUCN). Based on my research I decided to associate the giant ibis with the dipterocarpus tree and its seeds, that also represents part of its diet among  invertebrates, crustaceans, eels, small amphibians and reptiles. I will experiment sketching it both with foliage and without. I especially like its winding branches that gives a more dramatic look in the winter.

Ibis natural habitat.jpg

Hawksbill TurtleEretmochelys imbricata

Hawksbill Turtles are found mainly in tropical oceans, predominantly in coral reefs. They eat mainly sponges by using their narrow pointed beaks to extract them from crevices on the reef, but also eat sea anemones and jellyfish. I decided to associate the sea sponge with my sea turtle since it is the main element of its natural habitat and main food. There is a vast amount of sea sponges, generally colorful and with interesting shapes that I believe will integrate my turtle pattern very well.

Hawksbill Turtle Natural Habitat

Sumatran TigerPanthera tigris sumatrae

The Sumatran tiger is only found in the Indonesian island of Sumatra. Its natural habitat comprises evergreen tropical forests, freshwater swamp forests and peat swamps. Since its habitat is varied I decided to investigate further through the Unesco website that has a detailed article about the Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra. I instantly fell in love with one of the typical Sumatran plants, the Cyrtostachys renda endemic in Sumatra, Borneo, Malaya and Thailand. It grows in the lowland swamp forests, especially in coastal areas. It has a bright red stem in opposition of the natural greens of its leaves. It is a tropical plant, topic that designers have focused on a lot these years. However this plant is not very well known and I believe it would fit very well within my original collection considering that I intend to keep part of its aspect as they are, while turn others into a more abstract aesthetics.

Sumatran Tiger and Habitat


There are around 20.00 species of bees but not even 2% of these are honey bees and bumble bees. The remaining 98% are solitary bees. Some have a different aspect than the ‘normal’ black and orange coloured that we are used to identify as bees. There are around 270 species recorded in UK only. On the first days of sun this spring I went for bee hunting around Cardiff and luckily I found a few to inspire my sketches. They were buzzing around these beautiful winter blooming Camellias which I have never noticed before. It attracted me the evergreen foliage of this very tall tree full of pink/red flowers especially in February when most of the trees are still naked.

Bee and habitat.jpg

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