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December 16, 2010
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Pitcher Dragon by FamiliarOddlings Pitcher Dragon by FamiliarOddlings
My entry for :iconmyths-and-legends: Dragons Around the World Contest.
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The Pitcher Dragon

This unique dragon species makes its home with the giant carnivorous pitcher plants, Nepenthes, located in Southeast Asia. The dragons glide on updrafts to the hanging pitchers and thoroughly inspect them inside and out before settling on one for a home. [Fig. 1] Once a decision is made, the dragon bites the pitcher's natural lid at the base, severing it from the plant, and replaces it with its own tail, which is brilliantly disguised for this purpose. [Fig. 2] The dragon then curls up in the moist cavity of the pitcher and lives there happily eating the insects the plant attracts.

The striking coloration of this species allows it to blend in perfectly with the plants while also warning predators of its toxic skin. The skin is not only toxic; it protects the dragon from the highly acidic digestive juices of the pitcher plant with which it has constant contact while curled within the pitcher.

These dragons are notoriously lazy, remaining within their pitchers for as long as the pitcher continues to secrete nectar attracting insects, which can be up to several months. However, once the pitcher dies and dries up, the dragon bursts forth in a flurry of activity, energetically seeking out a new home.

It is not yet known how long these dragons live, but evidence suggests they are quite long-lived, perhaps up to seventy years.
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My Inspiration

I love carnivorous plants! I thought a dragon, my favorite mythical creature, that lived inside one of the pitchers would be the most perfect thing! I want a real one now, heehee. Inside the pitcher is a lot of liquid, water as well as digestive acids, so I thought the dragon would probably look a little salamander-ish. The wings I based on mantis' wings because I thought the coloring was perfect for carnivorous plants.
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Process and Materials
The dragon is needle-felted wool over pipe cleaners. The wings, tail tip, and head crest are craft felt colored with markers and sewed into place directly onto the pipe cleaner armature. The eyes are painted paper clay.

In reality, this guy is about 12 in. long and 5 in. tall with a wingspan of 7 in. To live inside a pitcher plant, he'd have to be a little smaller, but not by much. ^_^

I Photoshoped the pictures with images of pitcher plants I found online. My thanks to all the carnivorous plant photographers out there! I had a lot of fun looking through all those. :D
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More pictures:
Add a Comment:
 
:iconsepiawren:
SepiaWren Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Ingenious concept, stunningly executed - I love the detailed markings and incorporation of tree-frog-like elements into the design - great work, well done ^ ^
Reply
:iconimaawesomepanda:
IMaAwesomePanda Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
Yay! Me and this boy had to do a report about the pitcher plant and this realy helped cause i had know idea how it looked so yay!
Reply
:iconmonstermyth23:
monstermyth23 Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2011
Cool!
Reply
:iconblodsravn:
Blodsravn Featured By Owner May 22, 2011
l realy love it! good job! ;)
Reply
:iconderidolls:
deridolls Featured By Owner May 10, 2011   Artisan Crafter
Love the idea and the colours are simply superb!
Reply
:icontheultamentdragon:
theultamentdragon Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2011
i wish i could do that
Reply
:iconarasotesana:
ArasoTesana Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2011
ah ha! i remeber seeing this a little while ago and i thoguht i favorited it but i forgot about it. i just saw your litttle snail sloth thingy. im gonna need to watch you this time, dont know why i didnt last time? what is wrong with me?
Reply
:iconchid0:
chid0 Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2011  Hobbyist
this is such amazing biologically-correct idea!
Reply
:iconameliamoo:
AmeliaMoo Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
that is a really really great creature concept! It could be real :D I've just bought a pitcher plant for my bedroom so I love this
Reply
:iconbrandrificus:
brandrificus Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2011
:iconwinnerplz: Congratulations on your win at :iconmyths-and-legends: Your winning artwork has been featured here [link] !:iconsomeconfettiplz:
Reply
:iconsjham16:
sjham16 Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
pitcher plants r aqwsom
e
Reply
:iconfamiliaroddlings:
FamiliarOddlings Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2011  Professional General Artist
:nod: They are!
Reply
:iconsjham16:
sjham16 Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
yup
Reply
:iconginkoflowers:
ginkoflowers Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2011   Digital Artist
yay! I'm very happy you won the contest, I think your work really deserves it. It's a very original and beautiful work, great concept andralization! :D
Reply
:iconfamiliaroddlings:
FamiliarOddlings Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2011  Professional General Artist
Thank you so much!!! :glomp: I had a horrible time trying to decide who to vote for, there were so many awesome entries! I'm so proud to have won something! :D
Reply
:iconginkoflowers:
ginkoflowers Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2011   Digital Artist
you're very welcome! :D I can believe you are proud of it, there was plenty of nice pieces indeed! but even if you hadn't won, yours would have been my favourite one among them! it's so nice and original. :) compliments again!
Reply
:iconsyclopskitten:
syclopskitten Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2011  Student Digital Artist
want one :la: !
Reply
:iconfamiliaroddlings:
FamiliarOddlings Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2011  Professional General Artist
Haha! Me too!
Reply
:iconsyclopskitten:
syclopskitten Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2011  Student Digital Artist
lets go dragon caching!
Reply
:iconai-ryu:
ai-ryu Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2011  Student Digital Artist
2 :D
Reply
:iconfamiliaroddlings:
FamiliarOddlings Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2011  Professional General Artist
:D
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:iconsmakdabunny:
SmakDaBunny Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2011
:o
I thought it was a drawing at first on top of a photo lol.
That's so awesome! Love the eyes too and how seamless it is
Reply
:iconfamiliaroddlings:
FamiliarOddlings Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2011  Professional General Artist
Thank you! :D Haha, that's funny! Photoshop'd things always look so weird to me. :giggle: Thank you again! I'm glad you like it!
Reply
:iconchajiko:
Chajiko Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Possibly one of the most adorable and complicated needle-felt projects I have ever laid eyes on. Well done!! And the concept is really neat XD It appeals to the zoologist in me!
Reply
:iconfamiliaroddlings:
FamiliarOddlings Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2011  Professional General Artist
Thank you so much, that's such a huge compliment! :D Heehee, I had a lot of fun trying for that text-book look. :giggle: I'm so happy you like it!
Reply
:iconcmkj8102:
CMKJ8102 Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
genius!
Reply
:iconfamiliaroddlings:
FamiliarOddlings Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2011  Professional General Artist
Thanks! :D
Reply
:icontruedragon13:
TrueDragon13 Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2011  Student Writer
I loooooove it!
Reply
:iconfamiliaroddlings:
FamiliarOddlings Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2011  Professional General Artist
Thank you! :heart:
Reply
:iconcherryboxer:
CherryBoxer Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2011
Congratulations on the DD.

I was just wondering, if the tail takes the place of the lid, then the plant shouldn't get any pray, right?
If so, wouldn't it die out quite fast, leaving the dragon to find a new home quite often?
Reply
:iconfamiliaroddlings:
FamiliarOddlings Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2011  Professional General Artist
I'm thinking about this some more... The lid also helps keep/get the insects inside since the lid is sticky and slick at the same time so that would lessen its efficacy too, however again the pitcher itself also does this so it's not a killing blow.

BUT if you're thinking the dragon is eating all the insects and depriving the plant of nutrients, that's something I don't know what the plant can do about! I suppose the dragon doesn't eat ALL the insects that go inside but it probably deprives it enough that the pitcher's lifespan would be shortened.

Thanks for pointing this out. Heehee, it's fun to consider all the consequences! :D
Reply
:iconcherryboxer:
CherryBoxer Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2011
Indeed, I love to philosophise about mythical creatures.
A great addition, this is C:
Reply
:iconfamiliaroddlings:
FamiliarOddlings Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2011  Professional General Artist
Thank you! :)

Good point! But I believe the lid only enhances the plant's attraction to insects, the pitcher and the vine also contribute, and it keeps a little water out, which the tail would do just as well. So it probably doesn't catch as much insects as otherwise, but it wouldn't be completely helpless without its proper lid. At least, that's what I'd like to believe. ;)

Thanks for the comment!
Reply
:iconcherryboxer:
CherryBoxer Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2011
Mmm, yes, my thought was with another carnivorous plant, the Venus Flytrap, that actually traps it's victim, and I figured the deal was the same. But I guess they could co-operate?
Reply
:iconblizzardlynn:
BlizzardLynn Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
<3!
Reply
:iconmetacynth:
MetaCynth Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
This is a fantastic creature design! I love all the thought you put into it and the little felt dragon is awesome! Congrats on your DD which is what led me to this page.
Reply
:iconinejwstine:
inejwstine Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
(I want one too! :))
Reply
:iconinejwstine:
inejwstine Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wow, you put a lot of thought and effort into this! Well done! :D
Reply
:iconaireimladiel:
Aireimladiel Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2011
Brilliant! Well done and very sweet.
Reply
:iconniteshsh:
niteshsh Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2011
very good~very creative ~truely Informative
Reply
:iconvikingsoprano:
vikingsoprano Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2010
Ingeniously awesome.
Reply
:iconfamiliaroddlings:
FamiliarOddlings Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2011  Professional General Artist
Thank you! :D
Reply
:iconvikingsoprano:
vikingsoprano Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2011
You're welcome!
Reply
:iconcpsketching:
CPsketching Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2010  Student Traditional Artist
Very interesting design! Nicely done! :D
Reply
:iconfamiliaroddlings:
FamiliarOddlings Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2010  Professional General Artist
Thank you so much! :D
Reply
:iconxanimeapplex:
xAnimeApplex Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2010  Student General Artist
Awww man I thought it was a real creature at first. Haha I am a dope...
Reply
:iconfamiliaroddlings:
FamiliarOddlings Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2010  Professional General Artist
Haha, really? That's awesome! :glomp:
Reply
:iconkreepingspawn:
KreepingSpawn Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
excellent stuff! realy well thought out. :)
Reply
:iconfamiliaroddlings:
FamiliarOddlings Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2010  Professional General Artist
Thank you very much! :D
Reply
:iconmarieblack07:
MarieBlack07 Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2010  Student Digital Artist
Awww so cute
Reply
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