PSE Hybrid Animal Competition Entry

I recently submitted an entry to the Pro Sound Effects Hybrid Animal Sound Design Competition. According to the rules, I had to use at least one sound from their database to create a kind of chimera, combining different animal sound effects to invent a new creature. I won't bore you with the details, but I created an animal from a Cougar, Howling Monkey, and a Horse, along with a few other animals as sweeteners.

Warning. Shameless self-promotion:

Take a minute to listen to and vote for my entry here!


In the process of naming this creature, I ended up writing a fun little blurb about them, and how this "recording" of the wild beast came about. I hope you enjoy it!

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Chilean Howling Cougorse

Equus palliatae concolor.

The Chilean Howling Cougorse (Equus palliatae concolor, pl. Cugori) originates in the southern portions of Central America, but prefers the mountainous regions of South America. It is especially prevalent in the Southern Andes Mountains, near Santiago, Chile, where it is commonly referred to as "El Caballato Obscuro de la Noche," Or, roughly translated, the "Dark Horse-Cat of the Night." This is not to be confused with the "Fat House-Cat of the Night", an endearing term that Chilean wives use when their husbands noisily raid the fridge after dark. This name is likely derived from appearance, which, when at rest, bears a striking resemblance to a large cat lying atop a pool table. "El Caballato Obscuro," however, looks more like a big mountain lion that fades into the legs of a horse.

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Artist's rendering of the elusive modern Cougorse.

The unique sound of this intriguing animal is the direct result of its physiology and rather perplexing genetic history. Local scientists suggest that a freak mutation during an earlier evolutionary stage resulted in five full litters (about 15) of Cougori that had a single enlarged stomach, but two fully developed throats that are joined within a single neck, which is roughly 11/15ths the width of their head. This, in combination with their monkey-like snouts (they have two) and sideways eyes, gave them a distinct evolutionary advantage. First, their two mouths more than doubled their intake of grass and small rodents, while their wide and muscular necks served as a resonating chamber, increasing the volume of their mating calls. Finally, their melon-like heads and enlarged hooves were used to bludgeon other males as they fought for dominance within their herds. This led to the near extinction of the pre-mutation Cougorse. 

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This particular recording was recovered from the portable audio recorder of Courgorse researcher Josue Lampa de Molina. Josue was extremely passionate about the Cougori, and devoted his entire life to the study and protection of the species, often being referred to as a kind of "Cougorse whisperer." He always has a certain intuition when it came to finding these elusive creatures. Josue was found late one summer night in October, badly beaten and barely alive in the foothills near Chimbarongo. As best we can tell, while gathering recordings of a wild Cougorse, the animal noticed Josue, charged at him, then backed away (this is what you hear in the recording). Being tired from lack of sleep, Josue failed to recognize this as a sign of aggression, and continued to follow the animal into its territory. It appears Josue realized this and began to make his way back to the villiage, only to be followed by the Cougorse. Locals heard the commotion outside the city and rushed to help, but he passed away before medical aid could reach him. 

Being known throughout Chile, Josue was loved by all. Upon hearing the story of his death, many locals claimed it was the same Cougorse that wandered into a nightclub in San Fernando earlier that year. Witnesses claim the animal became spooked by the lights and music, and proceeded to trample 25 people to death and injured 33. Those present that night called him "el Bailador". Eight months after Josue's death, El Baildor was discovered in a village near Requínoa, believed to be drawn there by frequent celebrations of the villagers. Aware of the legend of El Bailador, the villagers then hunted and killed the fearful beast, and cooked it. This is a long-standing Chilean custom when a friend or relative is mauled by a violent beast.

What they didn't eat, they buried in an unmarked grave somewhere near the coast. A statue of Josue standing next to a more docile looking Cougorse was erected in his hometown of Santa Cruz in his honor. It bears a plaque that reads "A Dios, Josue. El Bailador no es. Él sabía a pollo."

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And that's the story of the modern-day Cougorse, and how this "recording" came to be. I hope you've enjoyed reading it! Be sure to vote for the Cougorse in the hybrid animal competition by clicking above!  Thanks for visiting!