Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Creature Spotlight: The Red-Billed Tuskeater!
...Or as some may call it, the blue-balled doombird. Here's our next installment in the Creature Spotlight, this time it's the predator of the Garret's Tuskrunner (hence the tuskeater name.) This reptavian lives primarily along the belt of forest/plains area that dot its planet, which gives it it's darker coloration. Males are identified with the vibrant colors lining their faces, while females have a more subdued palette. The two large, long claws on each forelimb are used for gripping prey, but also for digging out holes to form nests for their broods. Oddly enough, the cheek sacks that adorn their faces have a dual function: They're can be puffed up to appear aggressive, or they can be used to store food. Since Tuskrunner's tend to stay away from the forest or closed areas, it becomes problematic for the female tuskeater, who stays with her young until they're hatched. Evolution's solution? Equip the birds with cheeks so the male can carry back extra food from a kill. This also works out for when the Tuskeaters make long treks or migrations, since they can feed on a kill, then store any extra in their pouches and swallow it down as they continue to move.
I included in this post a version that still has the lineart, and a version without the lineart. As a shout-out to anyone that's listening, which one do you all prefer?