Monday, August 1, 2011

Animal Alphabet: R is for Rhea

When I told Mike that this week's entry in the Animal Alphabet was going to be a creature connected to Darwin, Mike said, "So R is for remora!" And I invite you to linger for a moment on the mental image of a sharksucker stuck to our hero Charles.

But no, that's not what I had in mind.

In fact, R is for rhea. Specifically, it's for the lesser rhea, which used to go by the name Rhea darwinii and still is sometimes known as Darwin's rhea.

I'm willing to give a prize to the first person who identifies the source of that background.

You might already know why this ratite is linked to Darwin. During the Beagle voyage, while collecting specimens in Patagonia, Darwin was searching for a rumored smaller species of rhea. After a good deal of bootless hunting, as he tucked in to a meal, he recognized that the bird he was eating was, in fact, the undescribed species he'd been searching for. In other words, he discovered a new species on his plate.

Next week: a crazy fish with a crazy name.


  1. Hm, food for thought, eh? That's one righteous rhea, but I confess I still would like to see old Charlie battling a sharksucker.

  2. There is nothing stopping you (or anyone) from drawing Darwin adorned with a remora.

    I tried to doodle him with a rhea drumstick this morning, but I gave up. (Too many non-cartooning duties today.)

  3. Is it the Patagonia sportswear logo?

  4. Ha ha. Nope; this is really more of a theft than a swipe; I didn't redraw the background, but copy-pasted and tinkered in Photoshop.

  5. LOL, it looks like Ben's style. I have a hunch it's from one of his animal alphabet drawings, but I don't have time to look through them all now.

  6. Oh, it's from the alpaca! hahaha, I like that your swipe is geographically appropriate.

  7. That's right, Lupi: I swiped the Patagonian landscape from the very first Animal Alphabet drawing.

    Sounds like you get a prize. Look through the list of our back issues and pick any issue of Satisfactory Comics; email me about it and I'll pop a coy in the mail to you.