31 cabinets to fill..

Some time ago I met a biology teacher from a high school at a workshop I gave. She saw what I was doing in my work and I was asked if I would be interested in a dozen or so cabinets dating from the early 1900’s.

Today my studio had a whopping 23 wooden cabinet cases and another 8 wooden/cardboard on the shelves. Some of them are almost intact, so I won’t touch those. Others are all turned into dust, not a single butterfly to see anymore. I will use those cases to collect my own creatures in, like the ones you can see here.

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A new way of viewing

I embedded my work sorted on category on my latest page: www.laurensdeblocq.com/my-work

Here you can see all my work, zoom in, and scroll to the next image.  I hope you like it!

The female Reefcrawler

This specimen is already extinct. It´s because of the low chance of insemination during the mating. In the case of the reefcrawel, it´s a rather unusual way of reproducing;

The female species  are attracted to the male if he seems fertile enough. It’s recognizable to the large hump on his back, this is were he produces and collects his sperm cells. If the female finds her ideal mating partner, a short and cruel ritual begins. She starts to chase the male specimen until she has him lock in place by standing on the end of his legs. To enhance the chance of success, she starts to stimulate herself by rubbing the lips on her back-end on the male’s spermhump. We don’t know how long this ritual took but when the time was right, the female punctured the tissue of the male’s hump in order to release the sperm. Whilst moving sideways with her back-end, the female tried to inseminate herself. The part of the male in this ritual is now over, as he’s only considered a container of seed, once it’s been opened he’s useless. After the punctuation, the male dies slowly.

The belly of the female is shown here. This is how it looked when carrying an egg.
The belly of the female is shown here. This is how it looked when carrying an egg.

The reason the Reefcrawler got extinct is not only because of the fact that the male specimen was far outnumbered by female ones. It’s the location the reproduction took place that played a larger part of the extinction. The Reefcrawler lived around coral-reefs in the Pacific. The reprocudtion probably failed so often because of the strong currents. Sperm could therefore never reach the lips of the female and the male could only be used once.

the Trunkrat

I just realized that my very first sculpture wasn´t on here. The Jangalian Trunkrat. It´s a creature which I already wanted to make three years ago, but it was only last year when I could create time to do so. So this is the creature that started it all: