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Posted by on Dec 26, 2017 in Nature | 0 comments

Why yes, I did do a species inventory of my Christmas ornaments


I’ve had a lot of years to collect Christmas tree ornaments. Looking at the tree this year, I realize I have amassed quite a biodiversity of animals. So, what’s a naturalist to do, but inventory them? Because many are mere suggestions of animals, we can’t get down to species for most of them, but I’ll give classification my best shot.

Ready? Alright, let’s go —

Kingdom – Animalia

  • Phylum – Echinodermata
    • Class – Echinoidea
      • Order – Clypeasteroida (Sand dollars)


I collected dozens of these from the seafloor off the coast of Santa Barbara in the early 1980’s. Not sure what kind of sand dollars they are.


  • Phylum – Chordata
    • Class – Insecta
      • Order – Lepidoptera
        • Suborder – Rhopalocera (Butterflies)
      • Order – Odonata
        • Suborder – Epiprocta
          • Infraorder – Anisoptera (Dragonflies)


Two of many butterflies.

  • Class – Actinopterygii
    • Order:  Perciformes
      • Family: Pomacanthidae
        • Pygoplites diacanthus (Royal Angelfish)
      • Family – Chaetodontidae (Butterfly fish?)
      • Family – Pomacentridae
        • Amphiprion spp.  (Clownfish)

Reef fish and rabbits. They go together, right?

  • Class – Aves
    • Order – Galliformes
      • Family – Phasianidae
        • Pavo cristatus  (Indian Peafowl)
    • Order – Strigiformes
      • Family – Strigidae (True Owls)
    • Order – Passeriformes (Songbirds)
    • Order – Sphenisciformes
      • Family: Spheniscidae (Penguins)


White, but not really a snowy owl.


One of many indeterminate songbirds.


These penguins come in purple too.


There are 4 owls like this. They are painted on gourds.

  • Class – Mammalia
    • Order – Lagomorpha
      • Family – Leporidae
        • Lepus sylvaticus (Cottontail rabbit)
    • Order – Rodentia
      • Family – Castoridae
        • Castor canadensis (North American Beaver)*

* I just realized, the beaver doesn’t have a beaver tail. Maybe it’s a groundhog? That would mean Order – Rodentia, Family – Sciuridae, Species – Marmota momax

    • Order – Carnivora
      • Family – Procyonidae
        • Procyon lotor  (Raccoon)
      • Family – Canidae
        • Canis lupus familiaris (Domestic dog) 


Here’s the purple penguin and a glass penguin. Also a golden retriever….with wings.

And last but not least, a Canadian favourite —

    • Order – Artiodactyla
      • Family – Cervidae
        • Alces alces (Moose)

The closest I have to a reindeer.


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