Create a Dark Crystal Creature

Carisa Swenson
South Ozone Park, NY, USA
“Pangir”

Judging Highlight:

“A very good sculpture that shows a good understanding of animal anatomy. Very believable.”
– Peter Brooke
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Creature Backstory:

The Pangir (pronounced ‘Pang-geer’) is a diurnal species inhabiting the outcroppings of High Hill. They range from 6.5”–7.5” in length, and are 8” high at the shoulder. Living in colonies of roughly 25–30 individuals, Pangirs are dependant on their primary food source, the grub of the Weibel beetle, which thrive at this altitude and live within the numerous crevices of the cliffs.

Powerful hind legs and cloven hooves enable the Pangir to easily navigate steep cliffs and it is quite an agile and sure-footed creature. Scales along its back, upper forelimbs, and upper thighs provide some protection against the teeth and claws of predators, though their small size make them ideal prey for numerous cliff dwelling and flying predators.

A pair of over-developed teeth protruding from the top jaw easily distinguishes males of the species. Both sexes possess a blue tufted tail that aid in visual communication. Because Pangirs have color vision, the turquoise hues of their tails are easily spied in a rocky landscape of browns, grays and pale pinks. This is most helpful when a colony forages for their favorite meal, the grub of the Weibel beetle. Two or three Pangirs will keep watch – once a predator is spotted, the lookouts will signal the colony by rapidly flashing their tails and uttering a high pitched warble. This causes the colony to quickly leap to safety – if an individual is not quick enough, it may wedge itself into a crevice within the cliffs, while curling into a ball thereby presenting an armored back to the predator.

Pangirs can live up to 5 years. Similar to the monotremes of Earth, females produce and lay 6–8 eggs in a clutch, with female laying 3–4 clutches throughout the six month breeding season. Despite its prolific nature, Pangirs may eventually become endangered due to the Skeksis taste for the Pangir’s main food source. Consumed during entertainment (i.e. Podling torture) in large amounts, the Skeksis have been sending small creatures of roughly 18” in length resembling the Garthim, to seek out and collect the grub.

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