While making their way through the Great Divide, Team Avatar, along with the Gan Jin and the Zhang tribes, encountered a canyon crawler that attacked their canyon guide. Aang managed to subdue the beast with his airbending, which caused it to flee, but not before it broke the canyon guide's arms, disabling his ability to earthbend.
After making their way to the other side of the canyon, it was revealed that both tribes had brought food along with them, and the food caught the attention of many canyon crawlers that quickly overwhelmed the group. However, when they began working together, the group managed to tame the creatures temporarily by putting bags over their heads, and used them to escape the canyon.
The canyon crawler resembles a strange mix of a crocodile, ant, and spider. It has four eyes on either side of its face and a forked tongue in a sharp-toothed jaw. Much like a traditional arachnid, the crawler retains a two-segmented body made up of a cephalothorax and an abdomen, and its four skinny legs attach to this center body. The canyon crawler's name is derived from its arachnid-like characteristics and from its ability to run up sheer mountain walls. The canyon crawler also contains multiple sensitive nostrils; it easily detects the scent of food.
The canyon crawler is a dangerous animal that primarily inhabits the canyon of the Great Divide, but its habitat is widespread, throughout the arid terrain of the western Earth Kingdom. Though the crawler prefers live meat, and its various useful features make it the perfect hunter, the canyon crawler is primarily an omnivorous scavenger that is willing to eat whatever it can find.
These creatures seem to be based on real life ants. Their body structure is somewhat similar to an ant's, with the long insect-like legs connecting only to the center of the body as an ant's legs connect to its thorax. In addition to its appearance, the canyon crawler is also like an ant in behavior.
- In the Avatar: The Last Airbender video game, canyon crawlers are the most powerful enemy.
- The creators stated that the canyon crawlers were the product of an experiment to see how crazy they could make the hybrid animals. Reportedly, they asked if anyone could make a cross between a crocodile and a spider because they could not visualize such a hybrid. One animator produced a drawing, and that design turned into the canyon crawler.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 From older Avatar: The Last Airbender official site, originally on Nick.com (link). No longer updated.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 "The Great Divide". John O'Bryan (writer) & Giancarlo Volpe (director). Avatar: The Last Airbender. Nickelodeon. May 20, 2005. No. 11, Book One: Water
- ↑ Avatar: The Last Airbender — The Art of the Animated Series, page 60.