Saturday, 9 March 2013

Northern pika

Northern pika
This is Northern pika I drew from Tokyo National Museum of Nature and Science.

This species of Pika is found in Northern Eurasia continent such as Russia, Mongolia, nothern Korea and also Hokkaido in Japan.
They are also known as a living fossil as they are believed to have existed since the Ice Age

Although it looks much smaller than a rabbit or a hare (you could hold a pika on one hand) and resembles more like a guinea pig, Pika belongs to the Lagomorpha order of which hares and rabbits are a part. They have the same number of teeth as that of lagomorphs and have incisors with no canines.

We call Pika Naki-usagi - the whistling or crying rabbit -  in Japan because of their high pitch call.
Male and female make different sounds and they cry even more between March and October in their mating season.

They are vulnerable to the environmental change but are not a protected species, unlike Amami rabbit.
It's probably because their biology is not fully understood as they've only been discovered in 1928.

original sketch of Northern pika at Museum
Drawing animals at museums is great, it's like getting to really know the animals.
Before I started drawing them, I knew nothing of their history, anatomy, their favorite food and how big they really are, the actual colours of their furs and so on and on.
This might sound like an exaggeration but it feels as though it's like re-uniting with my distant cousin I never met or something like that...

Anyway I adore you Northern pika.

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