Bovindicum monocerii - horned blue cow
Indigo and orange
|Behind the Scenes|
The sturmbeest (Na'vi name: talioang) is a large, buffalo-like herbivore that serves as one of the main sources of animal products for the Na'vi. As such, sturmbeest are a primary organizing force in the clan culture. A number of different clans extol the virture of the animal in textiles, music, song, dance, and art.
Sturmbeest are herd animals. They are extremely social and highly protective of their young. They are also territorial and will mass for attack against any would be predator. When the predator is too large or in too great a number, they will stampede, often breaking off into smaller packs for evasion.
Their brain-mass-to-body ratio is low and the creatures are slow to react and slow to stop reacting. The young, elderly, and sickly are prey to the largest or fiercest predators, such as viperwolf packs, the thanator, and occasionally a large great leonopteryx.
The Grave's Bog region is renowned for its large sturmbeest herds.
The sturmbeest has a massive buffalo-like head, six legs and indigo and orange coloring. Its skull features a single large bony hornlike extrusion above the eyes. Extrusions are reddish or orange, with striped slashes of blue. The creature has bioluminescent patterns on the ridge and both sides of the body. It also has chitinous armor, which is perfect for the construction of gongs when dried. The male (or 'bull') is about 15 percent larger than the female, has a larger ridge bone on its back, and also has a dramatic top horn that is used for defense against and contest with other bulls. The average sturmbeest weighs about 2,000 pounds. (907 kg)
Sturmbeest are land animals that feed on grass, shrubs, and various fungi. Hornlike jaw extension acts as plow for digging up roots, grubs and other subsurface food. They are highly territorial and will occasionally kill an RDA soldier if one gets too close to the vegetation.
- The relationship of the Na'vi to the sturmbeest closely echoes that of Native Americans to the buffalo, which they hunted and depended on as a source of of meat, hides, and bones which were used as building tools.
- In the Project 880 script, every now and then a massive herd of sturmbeest would migrate past the Omaticaya Hometree. Killing a sturmbeest was a rite of passage, as well as providing food for a good while. The Na'vi, while mounted on ikran, would use spears tipped with the heads of domesticated slingers. Hitting a small gap in armor between the front shoulders with this spear would score a kill.
- Jake (Josh in the script) misses his target but retrieves his spear and jams it into the chest of a stampeding sturmbeest to earn his place among The People.
- The sturmbeest hunt, while cut from the theatrical release of Avatar, was reinserted into the extended re-release and later the Extended Collector's Edition of the film. In both of the latter versions, sturmbeest can also be seen during the avatar team's flight to the Pandoran forests and during the final battle.
- Some hunters brush an ochre stripe on their right arm to indicate that they intend to fell a sturmbeest that day.