Width: 6 inches
Length: 6 inches
Height: 9 inches
Hand Crafted by Africans
This egg has been decorated to look like a globe, there is an African Map on either side with an Lioness in between. Each egg takes twenty seven days to decorate, with several coats of lacquer applied to acquire the high gloss finish. First the background is painted once it is dried a few coats of lacquer are applied with a light sanding between each layer, then the decoupage images are applied, several more layers of lacquer are applied with a light sanding between each, the egg is finished with some gold accents. By applying the art to the egg in this way it gives the egg a multi-dimensional appearance instead of a flat appearance.
About the Lioness.
The lioness is the one that does most of the hunting for the pride. The male lion associated with the pride usually stays and watches its young while waiting for the lionesses to return from the hunt. Typically, several lionesses work together and encircle the herd from different points. Once they have closed with a herd, they usually target the closest prey. The attack is short and powerful; they attempt to catch the victim with a fast rush and final leap. The prey usually is killed by strangulation, which can cause cerebral ischemia or asphyxia (which results in hypoxemic, or "general", hypoxia). The prey also may be killed by the lion enclosing the animal's mouth and nostrils in its jaws (which would also result in asphyxia.>p> Because lionesses hunt in open spaces where they are easily seen by their prey, cooperative hunting increases the likelihood of a successful hunt; this is especially true with larger species. Teamwork also enables them to defend their kills more easily against other large predators such as hyenas, which may be attracted by vultures from kilometers away in open savannas. Lionesses do most of the hunting; males attached to prides do not usually participate in hunting, except in the case of larger quarry such as giraffe and buffalo. In typical hunts, each lioness has a favored position in the group, either stalking prey on the "wing" then attacking, or moving a smaller distance in the center of the group and capturing prey in flight from other lionesses. There is evidence that male lions are just as successful at hunting as females; they are solo hunters who ambush prey in small bush. Young lions first display stalking behavior around three months of age, although they do not participate in hunting until they are almost a year old. They begin to hunt effectively when nearing the age of two.
Most lionesses will have reproduced by the time they are four years of age. Lions do not mate at any specific time of year, and the females are poly-estrous. A lioness may mate with more than one male when she is in heat; during a mating bout, which could last several days, the couple copulates twenty to forty times a day, often forgoing eating. Lions reproduce very well in captivity.
The average gestation period is around 110 days, the female giving birth to a litter of one to four cubs in a secluded den (which may be a thicket, a reed-bed, a cave, or some other sheltered area) usually away from the rest of the pride. She will often hunt by herself while the cubs are still helpless, staying relatively close to the thicket or den where the cubs are kept. The cubs themselves are born blind – their eyes do not open until roughly a week after birth. They weigh 2.6–4.6 lb at birth and are almost helpless, beginning to crawl a day or two after birth and walking around three weeks of age. The lioness moves her cubs to a new den site several times a month, carrying them one by one by the nape of the neck, to prevent scent from building up at a single den site and thus avoiding the attention of predators that may harm the cubs.
Usually, the mother does not integrate herself and her cubs back into the pride until the cubs are six to eight weeks old. Sometimes this introduction to pride life occurs earlier, however, particularly if other lionesses have given birth at about the same time. For instance, lionesses in a pride often synchronize their reproductive cycles so that they cooperate in the raising and suckling of the young (once the cubs are past the initial stage of isolation with their mother), who suckle indiscriminately from any or all of the nursing females in the pride. In addition to greater protection, the synchronization of births also has an advantage in that the cubs end up being roughly the same size, and thus have an equal chance of survival. If one lioness gives birth to a litter of cubs a couple of months after another lioness, for instance, then the younger cubs, being much smaller than their older brethren, usually are dominated by larger cubs at mealtimes – consequently, death by starvation is more common among the younger cubs.
In addition to starvation, cubs also face many other dangers, such as predation by jackals, hyenas, leopards, martial eagles, and snakes. Even buffaloes, should they catch the scent of lion cubs, often stampede toward the thicket or den where they are being kept, doing their best to trample the cubs to death while warding off the lioness. Furthermore, when one or more new males oust the previous male(s) associated with a pride, the conqueror(s) often kill any existing young cubs, perhaps because females do not become fertile and receptive until their cubs mature or die. All in all, as many as 80% of the cubs will die before the age of two.
All about Egg decoration.
The decorating of eggs (eggery) is a time honored tradition that has been around for hundreds of years.
Eggery is the art of decorating hatchery shells in the style of the famous Faberge egg. Carl Faberge, the father of modern-day egg decorating, used precious metals such as silver, gold, copper and nickel to construct an egg-shaped figure, then decorated them with rubies, diamonds and emeralds.
Over the last 3 centuries many cultures have developed endless methods of decorating eggs. The Moravian and Ukrainian (Pysanky) batik-designed egg patterned geometric fantasies, and their designs differ according to region or origin.
The practice of decorating ostrich eggs dates back centuries, and originated with the San or Bushmen who live in dessert regions, for them the egg symbolizes life, not just because an egg is a sign of fertility, but because the eggs were used as vessels to carry and store water, which in itself is life sustaining but when in a dessert region critical.
The custom of decorating eggs has many associations. The art of eggery did not begin with the Easter egg, although we don't know who the first decorator was, we do know that painted eggs as edible gifts were given by a Chinese chieftain in 722 B.C. to celebrate spring fertility festivals.
About the Ostrich.
The ostrich Struthio camelus is a large flightless bird native to Africa (and formerly the Middle East). It is the only living species of its family. It is distinctive in its appearance, with a long neck and legs and the ability to run at speeds of about 74 km/h (46 mph), the top land speed of any bird. The ostrich is the largest living species of bird and lays the largest egg of any bird species.
The diet of the ostrich mainly consists of plant matter, though ostriches do eat insects. The ostrich lives in nomadic groups which contain between five and 50 birds. When threatened, the ostrich will either hide itself by lying flat against the ground, or will run away. If cornered, it can cause injury and death with a kick from its powerful legs. Mating patterns differ by geographical region, but territorial males fight for a harem of two to seven females.
Ostriches are oviparous. The females will lay their fertilized eggs in a single communal nest, a simple pit, twelve to twenty four inches deep and nine feet and a half wide, scraped in the ground by the male. The eggs are glossy and cream in color, with thick shells marked by small pits. The eggs are incubated by the females by day and by the male by night. This uses the coloration of the two sexes to escape detection of the nest, as the drab female blends in with the sand, while the black male is nearly undetectable in the night.