Terapusmordax

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Universal Pictures Monster
An illustration by Greg Broadmore of Terapusmordax in The World of Kong: A Natural History of Skull Island
Terapusmordax
Alternate names Pungent Bat, Terapus Mordax[1][2][3]
Species Terapusmordax obscenus[4]
Wingspan 8-10 feet[4]
Allies Other Terapusmordax
Enemies King Kong
Created by Peter Jackson, Christian Pearce
Portrayed by CGI
First appearance King Kong (2005)
Roar(s)

Terapusmordax is a species of flying rodent that appeared in the 2005 Universal Pictures film, King Kong.

Name

The name "Terapusmordax" means "pungent-bat," while its species name, "Terapusmordax obscenus," means "filthy pungent-bat."[4]

Design

Terapusmordax superficially resembles a naked mole rat with bat wings and sharp teeth and claws. Its skin is very thin and almost translucent.[4]

Development

The Terapusmordax was created to fill the role of the Pteranodon from the original King Kong, and was developed from the Bat Creatures from Peter Jackson's attempted 1996 remake. It was designed by Christian Pearce.

Christian Pearce, one of the designers of the Terapusmordax, describes his experience designing the flying rodent as "fun," saying that "You could just try anything you wanted." Though early discussions involving using naked mole rats, which would become the basis of the final design's skin,[5] there was a period where Weta Workshop did not know the final brief from Peter Jackson, leading to many pterosaur-inspired designs. During this period, artist Greg Broadmore also created a flying mammal that had a "vulgar" upright posture.[6] After the brief came in that Jackson wanted to stray away from pterosaur designs for what would become the Terapusmordax, Broadmore created another pterosaur design he dubbed "Uglor" that had a Hornbill inspired crest and a bony emaciated look.[7] "Uglor" would later be reworked into the Foeducrista in The World of Kong: A Natural History of Skull Island.[4]

Jackson requested the Terapusmordax to be "as gross as possible".[8] Pearce recalls that Jackson specifically wanted the creature to look infected with its skin bearing diseases and a "disgusting wetness to it" as well as batlike wings, large enough to pick a human being up, and a humanoid shape. For his drawings, Pearce referenced photos of young Siamese short-haired cats, earthworms, and naked mole rats. [9] Concept artist Warren Mahy notably created a winged simian design inspired by naked mole rats with a prehensile tail and a beak.[10] Mahy worked "out of town" during the design process of the Terapusmordax, but kept in touch with the designers at Weta Workshop. Pearce said of this relationship "we'd get a shipment from him every couple of days: 'Oh, my goodness! Look, what he was thinking! Let's steal some of those ideas.' And he'd get ours and some of those ideas would trigger things in him too. It was right towards the end of the creature design process. We were all fighting to get our little bits into [the Terapusmordax]. I think a bit of all of us ended up in it."[5]

Not all designs were entirely practical in the biological sense. One such design had the wings located in the hind legs of the creature, a design choice that Pearce recalls caused a bit of an uproar among some of the zoologists at Weta, but he justified the design saying "we were just putting everything out there, trying new things to see what catches Peter's eye." Greg Broadmore has stated the "most preposterous" design he had created for what would become the flying rodent had a "big, gross belly" which Broadmore thought "was kind of funny" but "made it less likely as a flying creature." This lead to the creature becoming thinner throughout the design process.[5] Jackson then stated that he wanted the flying creatures to have traits of the sphinx cat, which Jackson liked due to the excess skin they bear.[1][2]

Origins

Despite superficially resembling a mixture of a bat and a naked mole rat, Terapusmordax belonged to a family of flying rodents named Volucerattidae, which also contained Voluceritis and the Howlers. Terapusmordax, in particular, was the largest of the family.[4]

Ecology

Terapusmordax lived in Matriarchal colonies numbering in the hundreds. The females, which produced testosterone, would grow to incredible sizes. The females lived in their own colonies and raised their young while satellite colonies of males were never far away. Being naturally solitary, and only nesting together, the constant fighting between males led to infected bites and scratches. Females protected their colonies voraciously from males, as they would often attempt to kill the pups to allow their mothers to become available for breeding. Male Terapusmordax pups were driven out of the nest at a young age, and they would often kill one another to reduce competition for resources later on. Young male Terapusmordax were also easy prey for other predators. Terapusmordax were omnivores, and ate mainly lizards, young dinosaurs plucked from the jungle floor, and fruit. They did most of hteir hunting in flight, and often preyed on Vulturesaurus.

History

King Kong (2005)

A swarm of Terapusmordax was awakened by King Kong in the ape's lair when Kong found Jack Driscoll attempting to rescue Ann Darrow from him. The Terapusmordax proceeded to attack Kong, which allowed Ann to become free from the great ape's hold on her. As she and Jack escaped by climbing down a nearby vine by the cliff's edge, Kong began pulling the vine up towards him with several Terapusmordax circling around the fleeing humans, but Jack grabbed hold of the wing of an attacking Terapusmordax and escaped with Ann. Several of the flying rodents followed them until Jack and Ann fall into a river below.

Abilities

Flight

With light and strong bones, Terapusmordax had good eyesight and were excellent flyers. They were quite maneuverable for their size, being able to tip and roll in the air in pursuit of one another or winged prey.

Chemical Excrement

Their excrement was notably repugnant, containing chemicals that were so strong that in sufficient quantities would induce burning nostrils and watery eyes. Despite the dung littering the floors of the caves they inhabited and their bellies being caked with it, the Terapusmordax was unaffected by the horrible smell of their dung. This might have been a defense mechanism, as it drove away predators from their colonies.[4]

Strong Feet

Terapusmordax feet are used for hunting and hanging upside down from cave roofs, like a bat.[5]

Comics

King Kong: The 8th Wonder of the World

While sleeping at night on the roof of Kong's cave lair, a pack of Terapusmordax were awoken by the movement of Jack Driscoll as he attempted to rescue Ann Darrow from the gargantuan ape. The creatures swarmed Kong, while one grabbed Ann and attempted to fly away with her, but Kong slammed it into the ground, freeing her. Kong continued this practice of smashing the Terapusmordax, while a few individuals continued their pursuit of the humans. one flew too close and was grabbed by Driscoll, who, with Ann in tow, rode the weighed down beast as it entered a controlled fall into the river below, where they let go of its leg. As they turned around in the water to face the mountain, they saw swarms of Terapusmordax flying out into the night.

Gallery

Main article: Terapusmordax/Gallery.

References

This is a list of references for Terapusmordax. These citations are used to identify the reliable sources on which this article is based. These references appear inside articles in the form of superscript numbers, which look like this: [1]

  1. 1.0 1.1 (August 28, 2007) Feeding the Kong family. Archived from the original.
  2. 2.0 2.1 (June 12, 2007) Skull Island Runty. Retrieved from the original.
  3. (April 11, 2007) New Kongcept Artwork Wtea Holics. Archived from the original on October 22, 2008.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 Falconer, Daniel, Weta Workshop. The World of Kong: A Natural History of Skull Island. Pocket Star. p. 72, 198-199. 22 November 2005. ISBN: 978-1-4165-0519-8.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Wake, Jenny. (December 13, 2005) The Making of King Kong: The Official Guide to the Motion Picture, p. 153-154. Pocket Books. ISBN-10: 1416505180. 978-1416505181.
  6. (June 7, 2007) Flying Dogs and Kong. Weta Holics. Archived from the original on July 13, 2007.
  7. (July 4, 2007) Uglor the Great. Weta Holics. Archived from the original on August 28, 2008.
  8. (November 16, 2007) As Gross As Possible. Archived from the original on October 16, 2008.
  9. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Page153
  10. (May 10, 2007) Naked Mole Rat gets props. Archived from the orginal on July 1, 2007.

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SkullIsland

26 months ago
Score 0
I wonder is this was the inspiration for the Psychovulture
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