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Fan lizards (Na'vi name: kenten) are small nocturnal creatures that live on Pandora.



Fan lizard illustration

At first glance, this unique lizard appears to be little more than a dull, ruler-length reptile with few different features. When agitated, however, it has wings that unfurl like a bioluminescent antique Chinese fan and spins away to safety. In an instant, it morphs from dull to beautiful and then, just as rapidly, is once again a rather common-looking lizard.

Given Pandoran gravity and air density, the rapid opening of the lizard produces enough angular momentum to create lift, which startles predators and removes the fan lizard from danger simultaneously.


Fan lizards are known for the large retractable disk on their back. This disk has a structure similar to that of the Da Vinci Helicopter. This magenta and purple membrane is bioluminescent and used for flight as well as to ward off any attackers with the brilliant light display and sudden increase in size. Note that when the fan lizard uses the appendage, the movement causes the body to spin with it.

Feeding Ecology[]

The fan lizard is a nocturnal omnivore that feeds on tree sap and small insects. It often feeds in swamps.

Na'vi Culture[]

The Way of Water Fan Lizard day Still

Kiri with a group of fan lizards

Understandably, the fan lizard is a favorite among young Na'vi who cherish this natural spectacle, and enjoy arousing the lizards. There is no proof it is a fear response because they do not fly away. When Jake Sully and Neytiri once aroused a group, the lizards are seen flying around the two, almost as if they want to play with them back, with one of them flying straight at Neytiri after being roused.

An ancient dance (usually performed by the children) celebrates the lizard. Two dancers stand side by side to create a rigid "spine." Another group of children run by and taunt the pair, at which point the entwined dancers "unfurl" into a circular shape and "float" in a zig-zag pattern through the other dancers. This is usually accompanied by hufwe, or wind instruments.



James Cameron's Avatar: An Activist Survival Guide pg 76 & 78


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