Sexcruscervus caeruleus - blue six-legged deer
Black and yellow
|Behind the Scenes|
Hexapedes are some of the most beautiful and fragile creatures of Pandora. Although a prime target for any land or aerial predator, the rapid pace of their breeding keeps them from extinction. The hexapede is a food source for the Na'vi, and is one of the prime targets for Na'vi hunters. Swarms of stingbats also occasionally attack them.
AnatomyEditThe hexapede resembles a six-legged Terran deer or gazelle. They are dark blue herbivores with white and yellow stripes.
Their small, sloped skulls are topped by retractable, light-colored fan structures. This fan has an eye pattern on it similar to those found in Terran insects (such as the Luna Moth), and serves as a defense mechanism, for flashing it to predators makes the creatures seem bigger and more intimidating. The fan is structured by twin horns that sheathe a thin, patterned membrane. The horns can pivot and pull taut the membrane for a large threat display. It is believed that this membrane may also act to amplify the sound of nearby predators. In addition, the hexapede also has feathery scent organs on both sides of its head. These organs sample the air as an early warning system to alert the animal to the presence of a predator.
Their eyes are wide-spaced and large, and they have sloped snouts that end in a small bifurcating jaw and bifurcated lip that can be retracted. A skin membrane "beard" hangs under the jaw and runs the length of the neck.
Twin lines of dark, hairlike bristles run down the hexapede's back. A long, thin neck and legs ending in round, beveled hooves also characterize the creatures. Sizes range up to 1.5 meters long and 2 meters in height.
These docile creatures appear to have little hostility either among their own herd or in the presence of a predator. They are only moderately fast runners, although they can weave, bob and turn with the best prey. The latter helps them survive in the grasslands, but when they venture into the forest for the food they crave (including tree bark and various leaves and berries) this strategy has less effectiveness, since they have less maneuvering room.
It is a small, forest-dwelling land herbivore, occupying an ecological niche similar to Earth antelopes.
Along with the sturmbeest, the hexapede is one of the main animals responsible for the survival of the Na'vi, being hunted as a source of hides and meat. Its image is represented on the war banner of several clans, and the animal is often depicted on shields and in carvings. Its leather is used in a myriad of ways including clothing, shields and musical instruments such as the War Drum. By tradition, it is the first animal that a prospective warrior is allowed to kill when making the rite of passage from child to adult.
- Hexapede's similarity to deer is reflected in its taxonomic name "sexcruscervus caeruleus" (blue six-legged deer). It also has some similarities with gazelles.
- They are hunted by the Na'vi as a source of food. Similar to traditions done by Native Americans, the hunters say a small ritual prayer of thanks every time one is killed.
- Hexapedes can be seen running out of the way when Trudy Chacon's Samson lands near the old school house so the team can take biological samples.
- The name hexapede may come from the Greek hexapoda, meaning six legs.
- There is an area in the Grave's Bog region named Hexapede Study.
- The hexapede appears on Neytiri w/ Bio-Lume's i-Tag.
- James Cameron's Avatar: An Activist Survival Guide pg. 84-86
- James Cameron's Avatar: The Game - Ingame Pandorapedia