Monday, September 5, 2011

Animal Alphabet: W is for Weedy Sea Dragon

I think most of the end of the alphabet is going to be tough for me, not because I don't have cool animals in mind, but because the semester has started and I have so damn little time now. (Maybe this week I should have just doodled up a woodchuck. I mean, I know I have reference images...)

Why, today, I didn't even have time to color a proper background, and just stole one from the middle of somebody's photo.

Anyway, here in nearly the eleventh hour, W is for Weedy Sea Dragon.

I append a version of the drawing without the background, so you can see the critter in question just a little better. Doesn't it look implausible?

If you think that's weird, you should see its cousin, the leafy sea dragon. (Why did I choose the lungfish that week? Well, who'd have time to draw that thing?)

They're both kin to the seahorse, and they conduct some rather sweet romantic dancing when time comes for them to attract a mate.

I first learned of these oddities from a book I'd recommend to any of you Animal Alphabet fans out there: Flannery & Schouten's Astonishing Animals.

Next week: it'll give you Xs in your eyes!


Loops O'Fury said...

Cool creature & great drawing!

My kid has a leafy sea dragon trading card from Nat Geo's kiddie magazine. I'm kicking myself for not thinking of it when I was looking for an L animal.

Curious Art said...

Oh my, that wonderful creature is an Oddment come to life!
Seahorses are fanciful in themselves, but with added foliage--!!!! This is the sort of thing that makes me love the world.

Curious Art said...

Okay, I had to come back after checking out that delicious BBC video-- better than a Hollywood romance! :-)

Isaac said...

The video is part of the excellent BBC series Life — a must, I think, if you have a Blu-Ray player.

Isn't it funny how some animals' mating rituals seem "romantic" and others seem "creepy" or "aggressive"? I mean, of course they don't feel the things we feel, and they're just going about the business of finding a partner. But how could you not be moved by, for example, the Clarke's Grebe? I mean, I know there's nothing so complex as romantic love going on in their tiny heads (or e sea dragons', for that matter, which are even tinier).

Well, it's like Frost says: "One had to be versed in country things / Not to believe the phoebes wept."

Isaac said...

*the sea dragons'

Dunno how that happened.

Curious Art said...

Hey, Mr. Sea Dragon had me at "I'll carry the babies"! Extra points for being a good dancer. What girl wouldn't swoon? ;-)

Also, you could substitute "some people's" in your comment... thus it's easy to anthropomorphize a wide range of beast behavior...

Sadly, I have nothing even vaguely resembling a Blu-Ray player... but Life is pretty impressive even when taken in YouTube clips!

Curious Art said...

Just thought I'd give you an advance heads-up: I'm posting an oddment inspired by your sea dragon dance tomorrow morning!