Uncommon Creatures

Long-Eared Jerboa Doodlewash

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


Recommended1 recommendationPublished in By Charlie
  1. Sharon Mann 7 years ago

    What an amazing creature, beautifully rendered, Charlie, I’ll look forward to this month of the unusual! By the way, I made my ABC animal poster purchase today. I’m very excited to recieve my print. How about the Probocis Monkey, they have the funny large human looking nose.

    • Author

      Awww thanks sooo much Sharon!! I’m honored that you’d purchase a piece of my work! 😊 I thoroughly appreciate it and am humbled! So cool!! I really can’t thank you enough for the kind support!! ❤️😃 And yeah…this month is going to get a bit weird I think! Lol But hopefully it will prove interesting. And yes! The Proboscis Monkey should definitely be on the list…just have to decide which nose to choose!! There are so many weird and wonderful ones on those guys! Hehe

      • Sharon Mann 7 years ago

        It my pleasure Charlie! I’ll let you know how it arrives. 💕

        • Author

          Thanks, please do! I’m always hoping it turns out okay. 😊 But everything I’ve gotten from them looks great so far!

  2. Cathe 7 years ago

    My first reaction…cute but weird…but cute. I thought at first you were combining critters but not the case. Super interesting, and so a new chapter of learning begins!

    • Author

      Thanks, Cathe! 💕😃Yeah…weird creature, huh?! Lol I stumbled across an article that inspired me… This month could get a bit weird, but it will always be unexpected! 😉lol

  3. Nancy 7 years ago

    Okay, before reading the text, I totally thought you started inventing your own creatures! Truth,indeed, is stranger than fiction! Kudos, Charlie.

    • Author

      Lol…I actually thought about doing that, then realized they were already out there to explore! Thanks Nancy!! 😃💕

  4. kungfunaomi 7 years ago

    It looks like a mouse stuck on flamingo legs… I’ve never seen anything like it!! Keep up the good work!

    • Author

      Is so weird isn’t it?! Haha… there’s some strange creature out there. This adventure should prove interesting! Thanks so much, Naomi!! 😃💕

  5. Susan Feniak 7 years ago

    Okay you got me interested from the get go! A unique critter indeed. What’s next? 🙂

    • Author

      Thanks Susan! 😃💕This one is gonna get strange! Hehe…not sure what’s next as usual. Interested to see what suggestions come in here and on Instagram. Might be something weird and wonderful I haven’t found yet! 😉👍🏻

  6. Akire Bubar 7 years ago

    Oh, I love this one – and I love this theme! I can’t wait to see what you come up with next!

    • Author

      Thanks Akire! 😃💕I ran across a post with some odd creatures and new I just had to try finding more and doodlewashing them! Hehe Should be fun!

  7. Teri C 7 years ago

    Are you kidding me? This is a real creature? No way. Seriously? I am amazed. If you’re not kidding me. (Lol)

  8. memadtwo 7 years ago

    It definitely looks like one of those imaginary hybrids…can’t wait to see what comes next! (K)

    • Author

      I know, doesn’t it, Kerfe?! There’s so many cool creatures like this and so I thought I’d try doodlewashing them. It’s cool because it’s like practicing a few animals at once! Hehe

  9. Jacob 7 years ago

    What a wonderfully weird but cute creature to kick us off! Great stuff, Charlie – I’m sure this is going to be interesting and fun. As for suggestions, I think you know full well what I’m worryingly excited to see… but no doubt that’ll be the last one to come! 😉

    • Author

      Thanks Jacob!! It’s so weirdly cute I just had to capture it! Should be a weird and wild adventure ahead! Lol And wait… seals aren’t uncommon! 😉hehe

      • Jacob 7 years ago

        Hahahaha, well that’s a good idea actually – look for some uncommon seals! But I was thinking of an animal rather like a stripey donkey, as ludicrous as it sounds 😉

        • Author

          Oh I see… we haven’t left that… you’re still pining for that Zonkey! lol Also, anything part zebra is called a zebroid, which sounds super cool as well! hehe

          • Jacob 7 years ago

            You know you wanna! 😉

  10. Jodi 7 years ago

    Oh what an exciting month we have ahead! I can only imagine what we are going to learn! Looking forward and love this little jerboa!

    • Author

      Thanks Jodi! ❤️😃 Yeah…hold onto the railing and keep your hands inside the ride at all time!! it’s gonna get weird! Lol

  11. Redazione Antonia 7 years ago

    I love this zone Charlie. 🙂
    Cute and strange at the same time 😉
    Good morning 🙂

    • Author

      Thanks so much!! Appreciate it! Yeah…this one was so strange and yet I always wanted to pet it. Lol Good morning to you! 😃

  12. Redazione Antonia 7 years ago

    One without “z” …

  13. Aww what a cutie, he looks like he should be able to fly with those ears! I have heard of these before,never seen one painted though.I can’t wait to see some of the many more unusual animal discoveries you come up with.

    • Author

      Thanks Rebecca! 😀hehe… I’m sure a good wind would make him take fly when he’s jumping 3 feet high! Glad you liked this one… it’s gonna be an odd but fun theme next!

  14. What wonderful start to a fascinating new series, Charlie. I must try that ear trick – it’s getting chilly here!

  15. Tori 7 years ago

    Fabulous start to the month Charlie, I am so looking forward to seeing what weirdness the rest of this month brings!

    • Author

      Hehe… thanks Tori!😀💕 Yeah… it’s gonna get a bit weird this month, but hopefully still a lot of cute things in the mix!

  16. Bizarrely beautiful, Charlie! Wonderful rendering. 😃

  17. bostoonz 7 years ago

    Great idea for a series Charlie – and beautifully presented – I love to learn new things through your art! Looking forward to the next one. What about an Aye-Aye or since you like drawing horses – the Okapi.

  18. Carol 7 years ago

    When I first saw this critter it kind of gave me a fright, but it is a rather intersting species from what your research says. I have a feeling I am going to learn a lot this month! I love all the pinks!

    • Author

      hehe… thanks Carol! 😀Yeah… this month will have a bit of ugly cute and an occasional downright spooky thing here and there. I’m determined to discover and bring out the cute in every one though! lol

  19. itsmyhusbandandme 7 years ago

    Beautiful drawing. I just hope I never mean a real one!

  20. Teresa Robeson 7 years ago

    I thought it was a jackalope…LOL! 😉 I have seen a picture of this critter before, but it is still weird…like Mother Nature is playing a joke on us. I love those little feet on it! <3

  21. kathiwerner 7 years ago

    This looks so hilarious, I couldn’t believe it is real existing! What an awesome drawing, Charlie, and I love your idea to go for the strange and extraordinary ones. Have a look at the star-nosed mole, the Hoatzin and the secretarybird, they look pretty strange as well.

    • Author

      Thanks Kathrin! 😀💕hehe… I think a lot of the ones this month will get that reaction. There’s some cool stuff out there. And thanks!! Those are great suggestions… adding them to the list!!

  22. Kari 7 years ago

    How totally cute!! I absolutely love the ears. I’m so glad you’re doodlewashing creatures that don’t get the spotlight often.. And I love learning about them!

    • Author

      Thanks so much Kari! 😀💕Glad you liked these. Yeah… I figured these creatures needed a little love too! Should be an interesting adventure!!

  23. Curious to the Max 7 years ago

    long-eared jerboa
    picky diet of insects
    nibbles on their feet
    but spits out their toa

  24. Curious to the Max 7 years ago

    PS. Charlie, With your permission could I put up your drawings on my blog with a link back to you? I LOVE your art!

  25. artandmoondreams 7 years ago

    Sounds like another exciting journey. This painting is lovely, you captured the cuteness perfectly and I recognized it immediately…sooo adorable. Thank you for this.

  26. Sharon Nolfi 5 years ago

    Great rendition of another favorite animal!

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