Monday, August 15, 2011

Animal Alphabet: T is for Temminck's Tragopan

Okay, here's this week's entry in the Animal Alphabet.

If you've received a postcard from China recently, you might have been wondering about the creature on this odd stamp.

That's a tragopan, with its lappet extended. (The lappet is a sort of bib-shaped wattle that the male tragopan can unfurl for territorial or mating displays. Those odd horns are made of the same tumescent stuff.) There are five species of tragopan, but only one alliterates (and therefore suits this post to a T):

T is for Temminck's Tragopan.

Let me invite you to watch another ARKive video of the Temminck's tragopan's mating display. Like last week's creature, the tragopan can make some pretty astounding transformations of its shape.

I had a hard time figuring out what position to draw this guy in. Originally I had thought to draw it in three stages of behavior, sort of like the Pokemon-style self-portraits I've admired in the past.

But time was a bit too pressing for that plan, since I'm still writing syllabi for classes that start at the end of the month.

If you are a recent parent, I do not recommend watching this video of the "crying baby" call that this tragopan apparently makes. Or, maybe, I dare you to do it.

Next week: Have I really not drawn a primate yet?


  1. Yet another absolutely mind-bending animal I've never heard of! Clearly obsessive planning pays off!

    Astounding vids, too, both the display & the cry.

    I'd still love to see that Pokemon version... it would be so perfect for this guy!

  2. ...Obsessive planning and a lot of time watching nature documentaries, you mean.

  3. Wow, that looks like it belongs in science fiction.

    p.s. I got the comics--I'll email you later.

  4. @Lupi: in my version I think it looks like something from an old-school episode of Dr. Who. You can almost see the guy sweating under the rubber costume.

    But the real tragopan, in those videos ... does it also belong in sci-fi?

  5. Kaiser, I think you're thinking of the Fourth Doctor adventure The Keeper of Tragopan.

  6. It looks pretty weird in the mating display video.

  7. Mr Tragopan liks to play jack in the box and pop up from behinda a rock to dazzle the female