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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:
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: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 ^ ^
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: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!
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:iconmonstermyth23:
monstermyth23 Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2011
Cool!
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:iconblodsravn:
Blodsravn Featured By Owner May 22, 2011
l realy love it! good job! ;)
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:iconderidolls:
deridolls Featured By Owner May 10, 2011   Artisan Crafter
Love the idea and the colours are simply superb!
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:icontheultamentdragon:
theultamentdragon Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2011
i wish i could do that
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: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?
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:iconchid0:
chid0 Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2011  Hobbyist
this is such amazing biologically-correct idea!
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: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
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: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:
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