This distant cousin of the African woodpecker resides in one of the most desolate areas of the planet, the Rub’al-Khali, a massive body of sand at the heart of the Arabian Desert, more than 500 miles southeast of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Since this particular Arabian Pencilpecker happened to be the No. 2 son in his family, he was destined to become a scribe. He has been lucky enough to secure a position as a transcriber at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, a revival of the famed Ancient Library of Alexandria, Egypt, lost in antiquity. Here we see him on vacation, visiting his birthplace among the dunes.
Note how Arabian Pencilpeckers have thickly padded sandal-like feet, an evolutionary response to the burning shifting sands. Note also how our desert friend is obviously both talented and a paragon of scholarly rectitude and respect (rarely-used eraser turban, formal Dish-dash-ah robe, humble rope sash, fully styled beard-fringe, spit-curls).
Though not a true ‘woodpecker’, the Arabian Pencilpecker’s head is made almost entirely — ironically — of wood.
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