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Highly Commended in the International Category of the 2015 BBC Wildlife Blogger Awards

An Ecstasy of Animals

We’ve all heard of a pack of wolves, a colony of bats and a herd of deer, but other collective animal names are less well known and much more evocative. How about a tower of giraffes, a bloat of hippos, and a cackle of hyenas? And what do you think of a leap of leopards, a crash of rhinos and a prickle of porcupines? I long to write a story about a romp of otters, an unkindness of ravens, or a shiver of sharks. But I think you’ll agree I’ve saved the best for last: a murmuration of starlings, a parliament of owls, an exaltation of larks. This inspires me to invent my own. May I suggest a flutter of butterflies, a jink of swallows, and a spark of weasels? And... um.... a calamity of humans?

A romp of otters. Giant otters. Photo: Jessica Groenendijk

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