Saturday, July 10, 2010

Camera Critters #118: The Pushmi-pullyu

Genus Pushmi-pullyu, species alpaca
It was Open Farm Weekend at Cedar Brook Alpaca Farm in Irasburg, so I took Ironman and Catgirl. They had seen alpacas before, but never a pushmi-pullyu  so they had quite a treat.  This particular pushmi-pullyu was two toned: gold on one side and white on the other Talk about exciting — pushmi-pullyu breeders are becoming more creative as their breeding stock grows!

If you don't know about the pushmi-pullyu (pronounced "push-me-pull-you"), it is a "gazelle-unicorn cross" which has two heads (one of each) at opposite ends of its body. When it tries to move, both heads try to go in opposite directions. Dr. Dolittle meets it on his voyage to Africa to save monkeys (See: The Story of Doctor Dolittle). In the 1967 film, the pushmi-pullyu was instead portrayed as a double-headed llama. The more recent Eddie Murphy film has a brief scene where it is walking in the background while Dr. Dolittle talks to the tiger in the cage. This is in keeping with the fact that this movie version was only loosely based on the books. Source:

American breeders have expanded this pushmi-pullyu definition so that just about any species of animal can be one. Or part of one.

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  1. Funny photo! They are cute critters.

  2. That is an amazing photograph of a rare breed, with very erudite comments on this animal. Unfortunately, as is said, the latest version of Dr Doolittle didn't give this legendary animal its due. So sad, really, when all the world is agog over the pushmi-pullyu. May we see many more such photos from you and your trusty digital.

  3. Why, I would expect the pushmi-pullyu to be two-toned. How else would you be able to tell one end from the other?


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