Animals as Elements: 53-54 Iodine Red Lionfish, Xenon Goose

Iodine is a slightly rare halogen element that is highly reactive and somewhat toxic. Though it is also essential to life, is required for the synthesis of thyroid hormones. It is also heavily used in the treatment of endocrine and thyroid cancers and in antiseptic treatments.

The red lionfish is the largest of the lionfish. Its toxin relates it to iodine, as it’s not fatal to humans necessarily. The red lionfish is invasive in the Caribbean and other tropical Atlantic environs. It’s become a major pest in some areas, its capacity to breed quickly and lack of predators makes it particularly hard to control.

One of the most famous Nobel gasses Xenon is actually uncommon in Earths atmosphere. It’s mostly used in lighting, lasers and as a propellant in ion thrusters.

Geese are one of the largest birds species. Most are capable of flight and are migratory, though there are a few exceptions. There used to be giant flightless geese, most are now extinct. It is connected to Xenon by its flight and slightly uncommon nature.

Animals as Elememts: 51-52 Antimony Yellowhead Catfish, Tellurium Latrodectus tredecimguttatus

Yellowhead catfish (Tachysurus fulvidraco) also known as the Korean Bullhead can be found throughout most of northern Asia. It’s not to be confused with the American Yellow Bullhead. The former being a scaled bagrid catfish.

Antimony is a silver colored metal that behaves very much like lead and phosphorus though it is less explosive and as a used as a halogen as a fire retardant. It’s also used in the production of batteries, soldiers and bearings. It’s connection to the Yellowhead catfish is to do with the local of its main source, being mostly found in China and Korea.

Latrodectus tredecimguttatus is a spider that is related to the Black Widow and the infamous Red Bellied Spider. Though its main place of home is in the Mediterranean coastal grasslands and forested area in Europe. It’s name literally means of thirteen spots, and has 13 red, white or orange spots on its body.

Tellurium is a silvery metalloid that can be somewhat toxic. Mostly used for copper and steel alloys and the production of solar panels. It’s now in far higher demand than ever and as it is a rare metal its likely to become even rarer. It’s relation Latrodectus tredecimguttatus is through its relative rarity and usefulness, but mild toxicity.

Animals as Elements: 49-50 Indium Glowworm & Tin Vipera Latiffi

Indium is fairly toxic but very useful element whose main use is in LCD monitors and similar screens such as those used in mobile devices, TVs, and other liquid crystal displays. It’s also used in bearings and vacuums tube chambers. The glowworm is similar to Indium in that it’s glowing effect comes from its food (so electricity and crystal bonds in Indium case) to produce photosynthesis. Though most glowworms are omnivores, a few are carnivores, using their colonies of glowing bacteria in their rear to attract moths and insects to a long thread of silk like a spiders web, then eating it at their leisure.

Tin is a useful binding metal that has been used for centuries. Its widespread use has mostly been applied in making Pewter and in Solder. It’s fairly non toxic and has one of the most numbers of isotopes of any metal. Vipera Latiffi is a viper that lives exclusively in Iran, and it’s associated with Tin as its highly likely the Tin was discovered and first used near its native range.

Animals as Elements: 47-48 Silver Fox & Cadmium Golden Eagle

Silver is an uncommon metal element that is mostly used decoratively and in jewellery. Though it is used in solar panels, water filtration, circuitry, and in radio and radar technologies. It has the lowest contact resistance and highest electrical conductivity of any known metal, and its applications are getting more widespread within the computer electronics and electric generation industries.

Foxes are a versatile candid like animal, though some are more closely related to voles than dogs they are my favourite creature bar none. The common phrase “a silver fox” is pretty much all it took to get its association with this element but I’m sure you can find plenty more.

The Golden Eagle is a common bird of prey that lives all round the northern hemisphere. It’s much like Cadmium in its commonality. It preys small rodents, occasionally other birds and carrion.

Cadmium is often a byproduct of the zinc refining process and is used in glass plating and used to be used in batteries. Cadmium is somewhat toxic and has some long-lived isotopes and can be bio reactive causing damage to cells and cancer in fallout post-nuclear bombs or meltdowns.

Animals as Elements: 45-46 Rhodium Beewolf & Palladium Horse

Rhodium is a rare earth metal that is often used to keep various other more volatile silver colored metals from corrosion. It also plays a part in catalytic converters in cars and other petroleum based engineers. It’s also used to measure Neutron Flux in nuclear power plants.

The Beewolf is a wasp species that specifically feeds or lays it’s eggs specifically in bees. It’s hunting is not very much like the wolf, mostly being a solitary wasp. It’s similarity to rhodium is mostly in this behaviour to be a loner, rhodium doesn’t really react and is very none corrosive.

Palladium is similar in its use in catalytic converters. It’s also a metal with heavy investment stock and interest in capture by recycling. It is the first part of a car to be recycled due to its rarity.

The Horse is another animal that attracts heavy investment an attention. Almost completely domesticated, the horse is now bred to race but it used to be humman’s main beast of burden. Though often bred selectivity for multiple purposes. Like Palladium they are a considerable resource that we may not treat in the most humane way at times.

Animals as Elements: 43-44 Technetium Doractoma Dresdensis & Ruthenium Rufous Whistler

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Technetium is a weird element that only exists in very very small quantities on earth. Mostly in amongst high concentrations of uranium. It’s a very unstable in general and the only elements that has to be produced artificially (its name means artificially made). Dorcatoma Dresdensis is a specific beetle that lives in dead wood, much like Technetium lives in “dead” uranium until it decays further.

Ruthenium is a metal mostly used to harden and stop other metals from tarnishing. It’s also often used in such things as forensic science (fingerprint dust) and electroplating. It only oxidizes under the right conditions due to its unusual electron shell configurations.

The Rufous Whistler is not a Robin, being a slight example of convergent evolution. It can be migratory in Australia but isn’t in New Caledonia. Like Ruthenium it travels only under the right conditions.

Animals as Elements: 41-42 Niobium Sardine & Molybdenum Highland Brush Mouse

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Sardines are sometimes a little hard to define. There are 200 or so species of Clupeid that make up what are generically called Sardine. Originally named columbium, Niobium is so named after Niobe the daughter of Tantalus. She eventually turned into stone, weeping for her children whom almost all Artemis and Apollo killed after she boasted how lucky she was to have so many blessings (daughter of a goddess with 14 children and apparently a very well endowed and virile husband, whom also built Thebes). What the hell does this have to do with sardines? Well, Niobe had a cult in Sardinia and in Turkey (where she was turned to stone). There was a temple to her in Sardinia but I can’t find any reference to its continued existence in the modern day. These cultists existed well before the documentation and authorization if the Greek religion let alone the roman one. Both civilizations conquered each other a number of times over the centuries. However, Niobes tie to Sardinia and sardines seems relevant to this day.

The Highland brush mouse is a species of mouse native to Papua New Guinea, it and the other Brush mice of New Guinea are in naming mythology somewhat how the island nation got it’s name. It’s completely untrue as the name actually comes from a Spanish explorer who remarked on the similarity between the native population and those belonging to the Portuguese colonised areas of Guinea. Similar confusion got Molybdenum its name, first thought to be lead, and given the greek word Molybdos for its name until its full separation as a pure element in the 18th Century.

Animals as Elements: 39-40 Yttrium Apollo Apollofjäril & Zirconium Zebra

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Yttrium is a rather odd element, like many rare earth transition metals its ability to form alloys and hide in large bonds with other more common elements is legendary. Once you finally do get it by itself it’s used in LEDs and cathode ray tubes makes it a very useful to modern technology. Of course now LEDs are more common, cathode ray tubes are now being melted down to source an otherwise elusive element. It’s named after the town Ytterby in Sweden, which is were the Apollo Apollofjäril comes in as a match. This purple loving butterfly is one of a huge number of varieties in its family, but this one lives in Sweden near the town of Ytterby.Zebras are large herbivores related distantly to the Donkey and Horse. Living in savanna and grassland in Africa has made this beast flighty and difficult. Zirconium not to be confused with Zircon or Zirconia (both to do with crystals containing this element) is a ductile when pure, but brittle when dilute and highly flammable metal. It’s used in crystals, an alloy and as a coating but not without consistent care and handling. It’s difficult nature makes it a perfect candidate for the Zebra.

Animals as Elements: 37-38 Rubidium Carp and Strontium Whale Shark

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Carp is both an important food fish as well as an invasive pest; it can live for months in very muddy, low oxygen or iced water using a different metabolic channel, often able to outlive and outlast the native fish. It can grow to reasonably large sizes and is usually a predator of native fish and other smaller aquatic creatures as well as eat other available food. Rubidium is a room temperature, liquid state alkali metal that also boasts the longest living isotope of 87 Rb that has a half-life that is longer than the life of the known universe (49 billion years!). They are a match as both are useful in their way but also potentially dangerous and destructive.

The Wale Shark is a filter feeder shark that has grown to massive sizes. Like other large animals it’s size requires it to be close to constantly eating food.

Strontium is often absorbed in animals and plants like Calcium and it can be substitute it in some cases. When radioactive material has been released isotopes of Strontium is often one of the biggest issues for cleanup and containment. In the past it and isotopes of Iodine are the hardest to get rid of and the most concerning as they are readily absorbed by the body from eating contaminated foods. Here they do untold damage, causing cancer and deformities.

A Wale Shark then matches with Strontium as a filter feeder, it eats a little bit of radioactive material, if this increases we are likely to no longer see them.

Animals as Elements: 35-36 Bromine Krill and Krypton Kestrel

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Bromine is a trace element that is very closely related to its sister element Iodine, the one can often be mistaken for the other. It often was used a part of pesticides but as it causes ox one depletion is was banned. It is now used in anti-convulsion and anti-seizure drugs. As it is found in small amounts in ocean water, but also in high concentration in salt lakes, Krill is a good match. Krill isn’t really one species, but a series of different very small crustaceans of the order Euphausiacea. They do however seem almost diluted within the oceans they are so small.

Krypton might seem like its the weakness of superman (that was Kryptonite) it is in reality a inert gas, mostly free of radiation and unable to react with other elements unless under very specific circumstance. Like all of the noble gasses thus far Krypton is depicted as a bird. The kestrel is bird of prey that feeds often on small rodents and lizards and sometimes larger prey. I matched it with Krypton because they both start with the letter K.

Animals as Elements: Elements 1&2. Hydrogen wedge tailed eagle; Helium Kiwi


We start this series with the two most common elements in the universe. Although they are common, they are both gases. This has led me to decide to portray them as birds.

The Hydrogen is Wedge Tailed Eagle. The Eagles who spent many years of my youth amazing me with their supreme mastery of the thermals rising near my home in south Canberra. Helium is a light lifting element, so that led me to use this wonderful bird. Unlike most of the Animals as Elements series, their is no watercolor; the pencil is dry.

The Helium is Kiwi. Why? Well, Kiwis as very shy, very solitary animals. Their eggs are almost as big as they are. This is kind of like Helium. It likes to be by itself. The first Nobel gas. It sticks around by itself and in the cores of stars fuses to make new Helium and hydrogen or bigger elements and a lot of energy. It’s calm, solitary and very Kiwi like.

Animals as Elements (art post)

I’m very much a renaissance woman. I’m ok at a huge swag of skills but not overly outstanding at any particular one. This is as much of a double edged sword as it sounds. It often means I’m trying new things, getting into them and then finding my talent for them is very limited. Other times I find my talent just slowly growing and maybe one day I will be considered good.

I’m ok at writing poetry, I have a steady fellowship of readers here on this blog. I’m ok at writing stories too. I’ve written thirty chapters of my story hammersmith now am planning adding a fantasy horror-comedy to the mix (yeah it’s just sort of come awake in my mind whilst I’ve recovered from appendicitis).

My other pursuits are art, signing and feminism. All of which I’m also slowly getting better at.

In the art arena, I actually have a project I’m working on that kind of proves it. It’s called animals as elements. I share the images of it on my Instagram and Tumblr. I thought it was high time I added a blog post about the project.


Each element of the periodic table has a different animal. The animals are in general selected from the country of the person who discovered it or are ones that are associated with it. The main and pretty much only pattern is that all Nobel gasses are birds of some sort.

As I have progressed  in the series over the last two years I have noticed my art improve immeasurably to the point now we’re I am much more confident of drawing. Meaning I have stared on another project which is still to early to share yet (In my view).

I’m also continuing my abstract art which I may post about some day soon. It’s harder to explain and each peice is unquie.

I’m also signing. My and other songs. It’s on YouTube but I’m not quite sure it’s something I’m open to posting widely yet.

The animals as elements series still has 44 animals to go, which two animals on each peice that’s 22 pages left. After that I will do scans and upload the images … somewhere.

The individual pieces are not for sale, but I can do a commission in this style of anyone is interested.