During last month’s ABC adventure, there were lots of great suggestions for creatures that I’d never heard of or even seen before. These creatures are not only unique in real life, but uncommon in art as well, usually getting passed over again for that cute little dog or cat. This month, we begin a new adventure exploring the lesser known creatures in the animal kingdom, from the cutely unique to the fascinatingly odd. And to kick things off, we have this little long-eared jerboa, direct from the Gobi Desert in Mongolia and parts of northwest China.
Caught on video for the first time in 2007, this little creature may look like an odd little rodent, but it’s really quite distinct. There’s no other animal of its exact type on the planet. Looking a bit like a mouse-sized kangaroo, it’s humorously long legs give it the ability to jump over 3 feet (1 meter) high. But it’s the ears that give this little one its signature appearance. The ears are about a third larger than its head and function as a cooling system. Warm blood pumps out of the body and into the ears when its hot and when it’s cool, the system reverses, with warm blood being pumped back into the body to keep the critter toasty on cold nights.
The long-eared jerboa’s diet is mainly insects, but beyond this, there’s not a lot that’s readily available about them. We actually don’t really know a lot about this little desert dweller, but this seemed like a good way to transition into this new theme before something too shocking. As always, as we go along, please let me know if there’s a creature you’d like to see next in the comments! I hope you’ll join me for another fun doodlewash adventure as we go across the world in search of the fascinating, bizarre and most beautifully uncommon creatures that nature has to offer!
About the Doodlewash
M. Graham watercolors: Burnt Sienna, Ultramarine Blue, Neutral Tint and Titanium White Gouache. Sennelier L’Aquarelle: Opera Rose. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon black ink and second pen with Platinum Carbon sepia ink in a 5″ x 8″ 140 lb. (300 gsm) Pentalic Aqua Journal