"It was a bit difficult to keep a straight face during these protracted encounters."

The Bladderhorn is a solitary, blue, territorial, herbivorous bipedalien from the Equatorial Mountains of Darwin IV that has an eerie call created by the inflation and deflation of their antler-bladders. They can be almost compared to Earth's elk. Upon encountering a rival, both Bladderhorns begin what can only be seen as an elaborate, if somewhat comical, ritualistic duel for dominance.

This mountain river-dweller can be easily found by its cry, an audible honk that is quite unusual on Darwin IV. This sound is the result of air being admitted and expelled form its twin antler-bladders during their sudden deflation, a tone which echoes off the cliff sides and can be heard for kilometers. It is mostly used as a territorial signal. During mating season the chill air is rent with the sounds of their bugling.

Mountain streams on Darwin IV are not rich in plant life and these creatures are forced to spend up to three-quarters of their time searching for their aquatic forage, the red mountain-spike. As a result, bladderhorns are extremely territorial and use their honking as well as their vivid bio-light displays to frighten off challengers. These animals do not just confine themselves to mountain streams, however, and sometimes wander the mountain passes and high plains of the planet's equatorial range feeding upon the subsurface bulbs of mountain flora.

When confronted by a rival, the bladderhorn will spread its "antlers," pumping up the large bladders in short, angry puffs. This is answered in kind by the challenger, who also begins to circle its rival in a slow and deliberate tiptoe fashion. This may appear humorous, but it is important to know that the two combatants are in deadly earnest. There is never a fatality result from these territorial displays, but long bloody wounds are very common.

Predators of the Bladderhorn include Skewers and Eosapiens.


The bladderhorn's deflated bladders ride its flanks on giant "antlers." Inflated, their eerie honking cry is one of the most haunting and easily identifiable sounds on the planet.