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Slinger
Species Information
Home Planet

Pandora

Na'vi Name

Lanay’kaPF
Lenay'gaASG,PP

Taxonomy

Acediacutus xenoterribili - strange terrible sloth

Skin

Mainly red

Feathers

None

Height

2.4 meters

Length

Unknown

Hair Colour

None

Behind the Scenes
First Appearance

James Cameron's Avatar: An Activist Survival Guide

The slinger (Na'vi name: lanay'ka) is one of the oddest and most dangerous creatures yet discovered on Pandora. Growing in size up to 2.4 meters in height, this land predator prefers a dense rainforest habitat, and its main food source is the hexapede. It is an evolutionary relative of the slinth.

Anatomy[]

The slinger is actually comprised of two distinct creatures: a dart-like head and a body. The dart is the offspring of the body and lives symbiotically with its 'mother' as it grows. The two are connected together internally by their queues until the head detaches.[1]

The mature head and body are both vibrant red-orange with black markings and a yellow underbelly. As with most Pandoran life forms, the body is hexapedal; it is unique from other creatures in that its front-most pair of limbs act more as arms rather than legs, stretching outwards and moving independently like a Terran mantis. A long, muscular neck supports the head, which has a thin, sharp snout and two wings protruding from either side of it; these wings propel the head forward to impale its prey. Two rows of operculum line either side of the neck.

Life Cycle[]

The symbiotic relationship between head and body lasts until the head has grown too large to function as a dart. The head then mates, detaches from the mother body, and metamorphoses into a smaller, complete slinger with its own slinger dart head. At this time of youth, the slinger is a single color as different colorations are most likely created with subsequent growth. Left behind without a dart offspring, the body is unable to feed itself and inevitably dies. In this cycle of renewal, each generation becomes the grain for the previous generation.

Method of Hunting[]

Slinger.jpg

When hunting, this creature moves slowly and silently through the forest ferns. When it senses prey, its muscular neck cocks back into striking position, then snaps forward. Its long, pointed, and winged head detaches and flies toward the prey as a self-guiding venomous projectile. After the head embeds itself into its target, the dart then emits a series of high-pitched squeals. These squeals act as signals to allow the body (now sightless) to find the detached head. While still separated, the partners consume the prey until sated. The neck then bends down and connects to the head once more.

In Na'vi Culture[]

Na'vi hunters have been known to retrieve a dart that has been orphaned from its mother body to use later as an effective weapon. Additionally, sap from a specific plant that replicates the smell of the slinger is rubbed on the skin to ward off potential viperwolf attackers.

Trivia[]

  • A sketch of a slinger was featured in Lisa Fitzpatrick's The Art of Avatar: James Cameron's Epic Adventure.
  • The slinger does not appear in the first film at all.
  • The slinger is similar to a creature called the 'mummy-nest flyer' from the book Expedition by Wayne Barlowe (who also served as a designer for Avatar). In the book, the flyer lives attached to its body as a head, but eventually, the body dies and dries out, with the head detaching and flying about, returning to the desiccated remains of its torso's cavity as a nest.
  • The slinger had a previous Na'vi name used on Pandorapedia and in James Cameron's Avatar: An Activist Survival Guide, lenay'ga.[2][3]

Source[]

James Cameron's Avatar: An Activist Survival Guide pg 92-93

References[]

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