Monday, 18 July 2011

Creature ABC // Undulate Ray // Endangered Creature Alphabet

It was way back in May that Creature Mag put a call out to contribute to this endangered animal themed project and in fact some of my suggestions for animals made it through to the final cut. Most significantly the Kakapo which I first came across in the TV series 'Last Chance to See' feat. Stephen Fry and Mark Carwardine a return to the radio series produced back in the 80's by Mark and Douglas Adams. Revisiting the endangered animals from that show to see how they were doing now (unfortunately some are in fact extinct). The Kakapo is an idiot of evolution, a bird that became so comfortable with its environment and lack of predators that it lost the ability to fly. This seemed particularly significant to me, here was a creature that was getting along perfectly fine until we came along and introduced a bunch of predators into it's environment. It seems just that we are doing something to make a mends for the situation.

Anyway relevant tho this is I didn't actually get to draw this bird, I was assigned this little dude (above), the Undulate Ray. Initially my reaction being, how the crap am I gonna draw that??!!!?!?! I had no idea how a creature like this might move, and I really don't think you can draw something correctly without having a feel for its movement, this being such an intrinsic part of what makes each animal unique (epecially fish right?). Thank fully I found a video of one swimming along the bottom of the sea bed – as is their way. It is really quite a beautiful little thing you gotta love how it errmmm undulates. You can see all the other contributions in the final e-book below. Enjoy! (Also after that why not enjoy a small rant from me about the sea and the threat to the Undulate Ray).

Endangered-ness wise this is probably the one creature in this book that we can all (well those of us in the UK) directly have an impact on as it lives round our shores. If you see Skate for sale make sure it isn't Undulate Ray and if you can't be sure don't buy it, it is a protected species and has been banned from commercial fishing since 2009.

If you want to know more about the utter all round devastation we are causing in our seas can I recommend you watch the Horizon: Death of the Ocean series available here on youtube (this is about the results of the recent marine census), Hugh's Fish Fight over on 4OD (and sign his petition to change EU legislation in regard to fish quotas) and End of the Line a very revealing documentary that will make you think twice about which fish you buy. If you want there to still be fish in the seas in 50 years time you'd better start paying some attention to this situation.

No comments:

Post a Comment