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


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60 thoughts on “Uncommon Creatures

  1. 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.

    1. 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

  2. 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!

  3. 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! 😉

      1. 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 😉

  4. 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.

  5. 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!

  6. 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.

  7. 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!

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