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Aspidochelone Juvenile by thomastapir Aspidochelone Juvenile by thomastapir
A somewhat more polished take on the Aspidochelone ([link]), addressing some of the comments about island size relative to whale host, barnacle stem elasticity, etc. I really wanted to get a sense here of the whale as an entire massive, mobile ecosystem, from the bird-eating dry-land barnacles atop the "island," to the various species of plantkon- and fish-feeding barnacles on the "continental shelf" of its sloping brow, down to the healing Vamporpoise scars on its vast benthic underside. I also wanted to convey a sense of the animal's great longevity, even in a relatively young individual--I'm not sure that really comes across here. Lastly, I was hoping to reinforce the association between the barnacles and abyssal tube worms, which were the inspiration for the chemosynthetic symbiosis.

Ideally I'd also like to do more refined versions of the Snorkoise and Vamporpoise. Stay tuned!
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:iconsaucylobster:
SaucyLobster Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2010
Just going through my old favourites and I stumble upon this guy, I'm reading the comments, bouyancy comes up and I think... If several 'islands' do form on a single whale they could prevent it sinking and collectively hold the animal up, effectively making it little more than a platform, a barnacle transport slave.
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:iconthomastapir:
thomastapir Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2010
You know, ~whalewithlegs did his own version that was almost EXACTLY like that, and now for the life of me I can't find it! : / I'll let you know if I ever track it down.
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:iconsaucylobster:
SaucyLobster Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2010
Cool, hope you find it.
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:iconthomastapir:
thomastapir Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2010
Here you go, lower left!
[link]
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:iconsaucylobster:
SaucyLobster Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2010
Ah yes I remember seeing these. Good synergy between you two, expand on each others ideas and getting alot of mileage out of them.
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:iconclutch45:
Clutch45 Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2010
Well, after being amazed by the art itself, I have now read the comments and, other than feeling like the only under-educated person on this page, I'm wonderstruck by the outflow of fascinating ideas that nearly always erupts in your conversations!
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:iconclutch45:
Clutch45 Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2010
VERY interesting take on this creature! Well formed and thought out, indeed! First thing that comes to mind for me is the new Sinbad animated miovie they made a few years back, on the dvd there's an interactive short story where he and his crew are actually camped on one without realizing it. It doesn't enjoy having it's 'trees' cut down to repair the mast... Though their interpretation of it was that the animal itself was the island, asn the trees grew straight from it's back.

I think I like yours better... Less angry (as anything in a Sinbad story would have to be), and more beleivable.
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:iconscythepuppet:
scythepuppet Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
As such a tremendous animal, how maneuverable are they for fighting predators? Or do they have another method for dealing with them?
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:iconthomastapir:
thomastapir Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2009
That's a good question! They are NOT very maneuverable, but once they get past the perilous juvenile phase they are pretty much invulnerable by virtue of sheer mass. The only animals posing a consistent threat are the Vamporpoise...See the first page of comments for thoughts on how they might deal with those.
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:iconscythepuppet:
scythepuppet Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Ahh, fascinating. It's weird to think that this thing is basically a whale with buoy instead of a blowhole.
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:iconsaucylobster:
SaucyLobster Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2009
I see what you mean with the big barnacle now, a weight much more carriable... if that's even a word. I love it, the whole thing. The whale itself and the intricacies of the barnacles.
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:iconthomastapir:
thomastapir Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2009
Thanks, I'm glad you like it! Hopefully this one provides a better (more accurate) sense of the scale of the "island" relative to the whale, though of course there would be variation between individuals, depending on age, etc.
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:iconsaucylobster:
SaucyLobster Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2009
Hw big is the actually whale? We talking tens of metres or hundreds? From what you've said it's a pretty epic animal.
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:iconthomastapir:
thomastapir Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2009
Hmm, that's a really good question...I guess I'm picturing this juvenile maybe half again to twice the length of a blue whale, with mature adults probably several times that size depending on age.
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:iconsaucylobster:
SaucyLobster Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2009
Cool. So... enormous would be a good description.
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:iconthomastapir:
thomastapir Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2009
I think that would be adequate, yes. :nod:

Maybe "titanic," but that might not bode well for the poor whale.
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:iconsaucylobster:
SaucyLobster Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2009
I dunno, the biggest thing it could run into is attached to it's head.
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:iconthomastapir:
thomastapir Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2009
:lmao:
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:iconchimera-gui:
Chimera-gui Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2009
Fascinating, in a cardgame I found some time ago, there were large marine beasts that occasionally had cities built on they're backs.
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:iconthomastapir:
thomastapir Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2009
Cool! I wonder if they were based on the same myth...
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:iconchimera-gui:
Chimera-gui Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2009
Here's the best database on the card game that I could find.
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:iconthomastapir:
thomastapir Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2009
Interesting! Apparently it's a popular idea.
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:iconchimera-gui:
Chimera-gui Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2009
Indeed.
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:icondeineangel:
DeineAngel Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2009
I find this idea so humorous.

Great drawing. I like this angle better than the last one.
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:iconthomastapir:
thomastapir Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2009
Thanks! I'm glad you like it.
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:iconsphenacodon:
Sphenacodon Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2009
This is just fan-diddly-tastic. The angle is awesome - I doubt I'd ever dare try one like that, but it works marvelously here. And it greatly improves on the original (which I just saw... :sheepish:) in every way.

BTW, Aspidochelone = "shield turtle", but I think it was used interchangeably with whales by the ancients. Otherwise, Jasconius, Fastitocalon, Zaratan, Cetus, Bahamut, and Trolual all work.
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:iconzypherax:
zypherax Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2009  Student General Artist
much better!

I assume that this whale can't dive very deep, because it would then have to drag the island down with it rather than have it float atop the watter... right?
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:iconthomastapir:
thomastapir Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2009
:nod:
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:iconzypherax:
zypherax Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2009  Student General Artist
ah....
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:iconsaxophlutist:
Saxophlutist Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Wow! I like these comcepts! How far would you put this water-world in the future? Will we see more?
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:iconthomastapir:
thomastapir Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2009
Thank you! Hey, you seem to like the water world concepts...I remember we had a cool discussion about the Saurichthyians, way back when. :)

Let's see, do you remember how far in the future they placed the "flooded earth" scenario in the Future is Wild TV show? I was picturing about the same timeframe.

I've got several other ideas I'd still like to illustrate, and it sounds like ~whalewithlegs is doing some of his own! It should be fun. :)
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:iconsaxophlutist:
Saxophlutist Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Neat! I like flooded Earth concepts a lot.

Can't wait to see what you guys come up with.
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:iconrayn-hammer:
Rayn-Hammer Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
wow......just wow........ im picturing remoras that live inside the empty bodies of barnacles
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:iconthomastapir:
thomastapir Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2009
Yeah, I can see all kinds of crazy animals living in there--moray eels, giant crabs, groupers (or their far-future descendants), etc. etc.

Thanks!
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:iconwhalewithlegs:
whalewithlegs Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2009  Student General Artist
I forgot to mention on the last drawing that I really enjoyed the little snorkoise shoal :)

I'm intrigued by your approach to this .. is the barnacle island shelf buoyant?

About chelone, also, i think it's at least a little appropriate as these whales do have shells of sorts!

more ideas ... if the whale sinks lower as it ages, you could get some interesting specialized stratification of organisms, even habitats that specialize only on old whales, for instance :)

would these whales also have multiple 'islands' or archipelagos, atolls, maybe, as they get older, or do they always have one central stalk?
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:iconthomastapir:
thomastapir Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2009
Thanks! I'm not sure how buoyant the barnacle island is, to be honest with you...I guess I do picture it floating on the surface regardless of how low in the water its host whale is riding (you can kind of get a sense of that here with the way the barnacle stalk is coiling up beneath the whale as it rises towards the surface). But I don't think they survive for long after the whales die.

re: specialization and stratification--yeah, exactly! I was thinking of the Vamporpoise as already being specialized in terms of the individuals they parsitize, for example, with young and aged Aspidochelones being the most vulnerable.

I didn't really picture multiple stalks (that's a cool idea in itself!), but I did envision the development of specialized habitats like atolls as the whale ages (see above exchange with Moa).
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:iconwhalewithlegs:
whalewithlegs Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2009  Student General Artist
re: atolls--I don't know if this is what you were meaning but I'll mention it anyway .. the whales could end up with not just islands but captive tide pools or even islands with 'moats'
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:iconthomastapir:
thomastapir Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2009
Exactly! I was imagining the classic ring-shaped atoll of the kind created when volcanic islands submerge, leaving the reef around the rim of the crater. I was thinking that might happen as the whales age...
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:iconwhalewithlegs:
whalewithlegs Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2009  Student General Artist
ooh, also, whale pods would form some pretty interesting islands formations ... maybe colonial islands?
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:iconthomastapir:
thomastapir Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2009
I was thnking that! I imagined something similar to what I envisioned for the guys at lower left here: [link] That they might form sort of "island chains" with mussel-style byssal threads connecting them. I was wondering if this might happen temporarily among migrating (or breeding?) Aspidochelones, or if maybe they have some sort of instinctive drive towards a kind of "burial ground" where the island part joins a huge (and growing) raft created by castoff barnacle colonies--essentially a floating artificial continent.
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:iconwhalewithlegs:
whalewithlegs Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2009  Student General Artist
Ooooh, with whale skeletons attached underneath!! That's it, i'm officially drawing some offshoot ideas :)
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:iconthomastapir:
thomastapir Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2009
Hanging by their shrivelled umbilici, supporting entire specialized colonies of necrophagous marine scavengers...? OHHHHHHHHHHH yeah.

Can't wait to see them! :)
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:iconel-moppo:
El-Moppo Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2009   Digital Artist
It is amazing how this creature is developing though! It is great! I love it! lol. :D ;) :)
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:iconthomastapir:
thomastapir Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2009
Thanks! :)
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:iconel-moppo:
El-Moppo Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2009   Digital Artist
You're very much welcome! :D ;) :)
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:iconcommander-salamander:
commander-salamander Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
I can really see the idea starting to come through.
I think you really would get large schools of fish chilling out in this beast's shadow. They tend to do that.
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:iconthomastapir:
thomastapir Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2009
Oh, good idea! Yeah, I hadn't even thought of that...And it seems like in a world with no land, marine creatures (especially those dwelling near the surface) would be seeking shelter from the relentless sun.
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:iconcommander-salamander:
commander-salamander Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Exactly.
Plus this kinda reminds me of a fish I heard of. Mr Fantastic is his name, he's a snapper (a type of bream). He often takes up with a smaller fish, last I heard was that he had a young trevally. The trevally would hand around with Mr Fantastic and groom him and Mr Fantastic would protect it and feed it (in a way...). The Trevally even slept under the snapper's fin at night. Apparently a trevally companion is highly prized, other snapper try to lure the little fish away!
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:iconthomastapir:
thomastapir Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2009
Eeee, how cute!! I'm sure it's one of those "you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours" kind of relationships, but still, it sounds adorable.

That reminds me of a discovery I heard about recently regarding the Great Barrier Reef, something about cooperative behavior between moray eels and some other type of fish, they might have been groupers. That the moray will go up to one of these fish and do this little dance that indicates he wants to engage in some cooperative hunting project. I can't remember exactly how it works, but it's something along the lines of the eel being able to wiggle into small places and the bigger fish having the firepower to take down larger prey. Then they share the spoils, of course, though from what I remember it doesn't always work out equitably.
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:iconcommander-salamander:
commander-salamander Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
They don't always no, but enough gets shared.

Hey have you see this : [link] , since we are on the subject of smart fish...
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