Sunday, 31 March 2013

The challenge: Tarquin's Jackjaw

So the challenge was a difficult one... Both rodlox and Petr were right: the animal indeed came from the Dr. Grordbort collection of nicely mounted Venusian insectoids. I had hoped for a proper species identification though. I guess the walls of the Virtual Main Hall will have to remain in their pristine state for the time being. Oh well.

Click to enlarge; copyright Weta Limited.

Click to enlarge; copyright Weta Limited
The animal in question is a Tarquin's Jackjaw. I found it along with four other unreleased 'Framed Venusian Wildlife Specimens' in the book "Weta, the Collector's Guide". The top image above one is a scan from the book, and the one below that was taken directly from the Weta site. The sculptor's name is not completely visible, but credit should go to where it is due: Jamie Beswarick. You can find more about him on the Weta side. 

I would rather like to own one of these display specimens, and am convincing myself that I in fact need one. Mind you, the book also contains rather large trophies of Venusian animals' heads, to hang on your wall. perhaps I will show these later, as I am rather fond of the Dr Grordbort universe.

But not next week; I will be returning to Furahan spidrids..


Christopher Phoenix said...

Haha, I suspect most of the viewers of this blog don't have a copy of "Weta: The Collectors Guide", I guessed this was a Grordbort animal I couldn't place it 'cause the web site doesn't seem to feature it and I don't have the book. Oh well.

Maybe, you should choose an intriguing Earth creature for a similar challenge? I might have a better chance with that because I was always fascinated by wildlife- and there are so many odd animals that rival even the most fevered imaginings of the specu-bio experts.

For a real challenge, choose something small- like plankton- that looks alarming an alien when magnified. Or maybe an extinct animal. I bet that there are many specu-bio fans who would come up short if quizzed on the identity of many real animals (myself included, probably) which is a pity since knowing as many real animals as possible is the foundation to inventing your own imaginary ones. :-)

I'd love to find a reason why I need a Grordbort ray-gun or a mounted specimen, but there just isn't one. :D Although those would make a great mounted display for a specu-bio fan or SF artist or whatever. I must content myself with drawing my own alien creatures and ray-guns, lol.

Evan Black said...

Aww, and I was about to post that it was the Tarquin's Jackjaw from Venus! ;)

In all seriousness, the leg structure on the Jackjaw seems to have some similarities with that of the insectoid cizorans on Nereus.

Petr said...

Yeah, I know I suck, I couldn't figure this one out :D

Well, it's still an interesting creature for sure!

Looking forward to more spidrids, Gert!

Sigmund Nastrazzurro said...


That is an interesting idea. But would readers looking for alien oddities be interested in Earth animals?
I agree that it is difficult to find a reason for NEEDING a ray gun. Parts of me protest at spending much money on such objects, and those parts never shut up.

Evan: Yes.. but with these folks I am confident that this is a true case of convergent speculation.

Petr: Thank you; it was difficult, wasn't it? Anyway, there's a big spidrid post coming up next Saturday.

Evan Black said...

Perhaps I should clarify.

I didn't mean to imply any problems with intellectual property. I only made the remark because when I see such convergence I wonder at how the speculator came to such similar structures; any parallels or marked differences from my own project fascinate me. For example, the placement of the limbs on the Jackjaw suggest to me that they could have derived from finlike appendages that had some sort of bifurcated quality. The cizoran limbs on Nereus differ in that they adapted from ancestral mouthparts.

Additionally, it shows possibilities for the same limb configuration that I haven't explored in my own project. Cizoran species that I've featured don't show examples of such a crouched bauplan. When I initiate the second phase of my Nereus project there may be some things I can learn from the Jackjaw...

Christopher Phoenix said...

Well, I can find many reasons why I NEED a ray-gun, but only if it actually works, ha ha. Defending myself from rampaging space pirates and drooling aliens, mowing the lawn, deterring common vagabonds and thieves, "retiring" unservicable robots, redirecting air traffic, shaving, dueling, remodeling your house, discouraging mutineers onboard a rocket ship, making a two-meter wide hole through a cheese factory... the uses for a functioning ray-gun are endless.

But a nonfunctional (and pricy!!) art piece is just not high on the list of priorities. XD

Well, if you choose odd enough animals- creatures that look really alien- this blog's readers might be interested. If yo find creatures that look like they came from the fevered imaginings of a SF artist when, in fact, they exist... it might work. :-) Could call it "alien or terrestrial?" or something.