Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login
Diogeceratops by thomastapir Diogeceratops by thomastapir
This guy is so radically divergent from any known form of terrestrial life that he should probably be considered entirely mythical, but I guess I'm still hoping there's a place for him in some fanciful natural history. Maybe a VERY alternate earth, or another wildly diverse and ambitious extraterrestrial seeding project on the scale of the Chimerapes.

Idea was an seagoing octopodal (perhaps decapodal) faux protoceratopsian that wears the discarded shell of a giant ammonite on its tail and grazes parrotfish-style on coral reefs. The shell serves some defensive purpose, though I haven't figured out exactly what. Originally I was thinking the Diogeceratops might eat jellyfish and somehow install the stinging nematocysts at those nodules along the shell, ala nudibranch cerata; now I'm thinking it probably grows a healthy crop of deadly-poisonous anemones for protection. (This thing is so bizarre you can make up pretty much anything you want about its ecosystem.) It is an air-breather, and my original thinking (just to complicate things) was that it actually does need to haul out on the beach on occasion. Now I'm thinking it may spend all its time at sea, which would certainly be healthier for any marine invertebrates growing on its shell (not that they couldn't necessarily batten down like intertidal organisms).

That's about it...There's no overarching "Big Idea" behind this one, it was just an image flash I had when I was at the coast last week. This doesn't look exactly like my original idea...My original image was of something typically countershaded, but when I was working on it tonight I started thinking it would be interesting if it had much more striking and varied colors, like a reef fish. The shell I likewise initially pictured with fairly conservative nautilus coloring, but I started thinking of all kinds of crazy color schemes when I was shading it--a blue-ringed octopus, perhaps. Maybe the Diogeceratops kills a specific type of highly poisonous ammonite and leaves the stinging part of its body intact, which it can then keep alive and operate as a defense...Again, this whole idea and implied setting is so odd that pretty much anything is possible.

I wish ~whale was online to see this, I was trying to get his crazy kinked toes with this one! Those are purely an aesthetic choice, by the way; obviously it "should" have webbed feet or flippers.

This one probably owes something to the old Feraceratops ([link]), which emerged from a discussion with ~commander-salamander. I still have a soft spot for that little guy. :)
Add a Comment:
 
:iconbubblekirby:
bubblekirby Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2013
Clearly from a timeline where placoderms came on land rather than lobe-finned fish :P
Reply
:iconkingovrats:
KingOvRats Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2013   Traditional Artist
I really love it's tail!:)
Reply
:iconthomastapir:
thomastapir Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2013
Hah, thanks! XD
Reply
:iconstevenrf69:
stevenrf69 Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2010
wuold e split down the middle?
Reply
:iconthe-mirrorball-man:
The-Mirrorball-Man Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Another impressive piece. I can see this one being the forebear of a fully sentient species.
Reply
:iconmel2daissa:
Mel2DaIssa Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2009
aww! he's so cute! i want one as a pet.
Reply
:iconthomastapir:
thomastapir Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2009
Hah, thanks! If I ever manage to find one I'll let you know. :)
Thanks also for the fave, it's much appreciated!
Reply
:iconmel2daissa:
Mel2DaIssa Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2009
ha ha no problem. i loved it.
Reply
:iconkecen:
kecen Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2009
From the thumbnail, I reckoned this guy can bud off into other pseudo-parrots. How fleshy s/he looks! The shell also reminds me of a python.
Reply
:iconthomastapir:
thomastapir Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2009
re: parthenogenetic budding--Whoa, I love that idea! That's how those little nodules on pygmy seahorses ([link] [link]) always strike me. And it fits with the idea of the male's marsupium, as well--taken to an extreme, seahorses could end up like Surinam toads ([link])!
Reply
:iconviergacht:
Viergacht Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2009  Professional General Artist
The kinked toes are reasonable if it uses them to grab onto coral as it clambers around. It doesn't look like something that would be a fast swimmer.
Reply
:iconwhalewithlegs:
whalewithlegs Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2009  Student General Artist
Nonono, this doesn't need webbed feet! Think iguana!!! Look at those badass hands: [link]

I do love the splayed toes ... it looks alternately posed on some tidepool rocks and trundling along underwater, half-swimming, half-walking.

This has got to be one of your strangest creatures yet (in my recollection)! I love the image flash and the speculations about color ... I did picture it as kind of a sandy tan hide with an orange/brown/white shell. This thing is basically Slowbro: [link] :P
Reply
:iconthomastapir:
thomastapir Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2009
It is TOTALLY a Slowbro...That's hilarious! :lol:

Oh yeah, I'm totally with you on the iguana toes. I was actually thinking more along the lines of the prehensile toes of green iguanas, in fact, rather than the stubbier toes of marine iguanas (which are likewise awesome in all their scaly dinosaur-ness). There's a certain tenuous arboreal overtone to these guys, going back to their conceptual origin in that discussion with Commander Salamander about the pygmy tree-dwelling ceratopsians. I'm still imagining an amphibious relative climbing trees for cooonuts!
Reply
:iconhuntsman97:
Huntsman97 Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2009
Awesome concept! would have been a great addition to my OC world [link] will be watchin'
Reply
:iconthomastapir:
thomastapir Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2009
Hah, thanks! Thanks also for the watch and the fav, your support is much appreciated. :)
Reply
:icondoodlebotbop:
Doodlebotbop Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Whoa yeah this guy is certainly very different X3
Reply
:iconsphenacodon:
Sphenacodon Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2009
Just... just wow. And I was thinking that ceratopsians couldn't be retooled to just about any scenario...

The kinked toes are really cool, they look like an iguana's. And it does look like something that would nip corals. My one gripe (and it's a minor one) is that the ammonite shell looks a lot like its tail.

Marvelous! Where else could this go?
Reply
:iconthomastapir:
thomastapir Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2009
Never underestimate the adaptability of the octopodal xenoceratopsia!

Yeah, that tail is wonky...Looks more like a squishy tentacle than a shell. : /

How about an even more highly derived pelagic diogeceratopsian living in a more traditional nautilus-style shell, but with just its hypertrophied beak and eyes sticking out and the long toes evolved into spindly tentacle analogues?
Reply
:iconsphenacodon:
Sphenacodon Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2009
That would be even more awesome/terrifying. Frankly, I'd be curious to see just how far you could twist the ceratopsian* body plan while still retaining the distinguishing hallmarks of the group.

*Or anything else, but the subject was ceratopsians here.
Reply
:iconrodlox:
Rodlox Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2009
cool!!

a thought - maybe the similarity to the dinomorphs of late, is the result of paralel evolution...and its actually a closer relative of the pinnimorphs.

either way, great creating.
Reply
:iconowlscribe:
Owlscribe Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2009
I'm still in awe of what you do with shadow. So fluid, too - owing, I think, to that amazing drawing technique of yours. Very cool drawing. That sounds lame. But it's true. Very. Very. Cool.
Reply
:iconsaucylobster:
SaucyLobster Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2009
Dawww, what a sweet little face it has. The shell looks very elaborate and the multiple legs is a winner. Love this thing, how big is it?
Reply
:iconthomastapir:
thomastapir Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2009
Hah, thanks very much! I'm glad you like it. :)

Let's seeeee, I'm going to say he's about 1.5-2 m from beak to tail, with the shell adding about the same length? (Of course the end of the body is plugged into the shell, so total length would be less than 4 m).
Reply
:iconsaucylobster:
SaucyLobster Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2009
Cool, about average for a ceratops then.
Reply
:iconm0ai:
M0AI Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
Freakin' awesome, Tapir! Another beautiful drawing that works on multiple levels. The construction is excellent. Every form feels like it has mass, like it curves in space. The anatomy is great, and on a related note, nice job on those iguana-like feet. On an abstract level, the overall spiral shape is beautiful, and works well with the ammonite theme.

Speaking of the ammonite element in this picture, that brings me to its one flaw, in my eyes. When I first saw this, I thought the ammonite shell was its tail. It came as a bit of a surprise to me to read about the shell in your description. It just looks soft to me, somehow. The transition from dinosaur to shell is rather subtle, too, which contributed to my misinterpretation.

But whatever, it's still a great drawing.
Reply
:iconthomastapir:
thomastapir Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2009
Thanks, my rocky-headed friend! I've really been working on integrating the more gestural aspects of my drawing with an attention to the dimensionality of form, so I'm really happy it comes across successfully for you. :)

Yeah, the tail bugs me too...The original idea was for something bigger and straighter and just overall more clearly distinct from the creature's body, but the circular motif started developing of its own accord and I liked it too much to pass it up. Plus the soft texture and stripes make it look more fleshy and tentacular than hard and shell-like. If I do anything like this again I will vary the shading substantially so the body stands out more effectively from the shell.

Thanks again!
Reply
:iconcommander-salamander:
commander-salamander Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh BTW kinky toes = WIN
Reply
:iconthomastapir:
thomastapir Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2009
The vast quantity of certain very specific niche-interest web sites would tend to support that assertion!
Reply
:iconcommander-salamander:
commander-salamander Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
I don't blame them. It's a good formula.
Reply
:iconcommander-salamander:
commander-salamander Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Jeepers!
You could go mad with this concept Mr. T! Anything could be growing off of this cute critter. How about weeds to hide its body shape while grazing along the sea floor or floating on the surface within Sargasso-like weeds?
Reply
:iconthomastapir:
thomastapir Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2009
Oh, nice...How about a similarly camoflauged bottom-dwelling ambush predator, with the kinked toes converging on mantis-shrimp-style raptorial appendages...?
Reply
:iconcommander-salamander:
commander-salamander Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Ooh yes! That would be exciting.
Reply
:iconfractalxavier91:
fractalxavier91 Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2009
That is some kin'a crazy shell!
Reply
:iconsolomen:
Solomen Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Sorta reminds me of the mutant monster from Host. I think it was called Gwoemul but I could be wrong :D
Reply
:iconcomenozes:
ComeNozes Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Hey, that's nice! Great desing here!
Reply
:iconthomastapir:
thomastapir Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2009
Thanks very much!
Reply
Add a Comment:
 
×
Download JPG 1300 × 1238




Details

Submitted on
July 1, 2009
Image Size
409 KB
Resolution
1300×1238
Link
Thumb
Embed

Stats

Views
3,322
Favourites
80 (who?)
Comments
36
Downloads
76
×