Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login
Platypillar by thomastapir Platypillar by thomastapir
...Or is it a Catypus? This is another idea with origins more visual than conceptual, based on an Archaeoprepona demophoon caterpillar from the beautiful book "100 Caterpillars." The way the head and "horns" were oriented in the photo gave me the split-second impression of a platypus bill, so there you go. I guess this creature could fall into the same category as the Pinnimorphs, in the sense that it's an animal with a cosmetically or superficially invertebrate body design but with an underlying mammalian physiology (or so I envisioned it). The phyletic lines appear a little more blurred in this one, though. I kind of pictured this organism living a fairly sedentary arboreal lifestyle, something like a sloth. I don’t know what that bill is used for; cropping vegetation? Burrowing through leaf litter on the forest floor…?

Actually, there are a couple of concepts I've been working on for the transformation of future life that might provide a rationale for this creature. One idea is that of genetic hybridization due to an escaped G.E. virus, something that transforms all life on Earth into chimerical forms. Another is intentional transgenic reengineering, perhaps a desperate attempt to preserve life against a similar virus. What if the "bad" virus attacked only mammals, for example, or only juveniles? A mutagenic G.E. virus is then dispersed to introduce a new non-mammalian stage into the mammalian life cycle, protecting at-risk individuals from the lethal effects of the competing virus. The danger passes at adolescence, so the young mammals coccoon themselves after this larval juvenile stage and emerge as "normal" adults of whatever species they represent. Who knows, it could happen! Or not. As we like to say here at Tapir Enterprises, "That’s Unlikely!"©

I scanned the original line drawing before shading it, so I may do a color version at some point in the future, after I emerge from my cocoon.
Add a Comment:
 
:iconzanheer:
Zanheer Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2017
You strike me as a Terryl Whitlatch fan.
Reply
:iconmysteriouszoologist:
MysteriousZoologist Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2016
Could you make an echidna beetle grub
Reply
:icontrilobitecannibal:
TrilobiteCannibal Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Clearly a derived paddlefish upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia…
Reply
:iconthomastapir:
thomastapir Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2016
Nah, that's this one here:
Paddletad
Reply
:iconjbodwell80668:
jbodwell80668 Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2013
Ah! the great and elusive Platypillar,
hunted far and wide for delicious flesh and exquisite beauty as a mantelpiece.
Reply
:iconthomastapir:
thomastapir Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2013
So few preparers know the proper gloss treatment for the bill!
Reply
:iconvasix:
vasix Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Heck, that is very odd, but I think we should go with....

AH!!!!

flatbilled platypillar (the same thing!!!) and....Platygnatherpeton mirabilis!!! :)
Reply
:icongrimkarasu:
GrimKarasu Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
What sort of sizes are we considering for this sort of organism? If large enough, this could potentially become a predator form, adapting its venomous spurs into the posterior tentacles. Prey walks underneath and is jumped. Terrifying.

Also, on that note, have you heard of Australian "drop bears"? The last specie of carnivorous koala.
Reply
:iconthomastapir:
thomastapir Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2010
re: size--Man, that's a good question. You know, it's really hard for me to say...I was thinking that the head is orthodox platypus-size, so if the body is proportional that would make it...I don't know, maybe 3'/1m long? I wasn't really thinking of this guy as a predator, but that's a really cool idea! If the paedomorphic "larval" form is maintained into adulthood, who knows what kind of crazy directions it might evolve in.

Ohhh, I have long experience with "drop bears"--I learned the hard way. That's why I always wear a Prussian helment when I'm out in the bush!
Reply
:icongrimkarasu:
GrimKarasu Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
At least a metre, if we count the barbs/feelers. Creepy.

Well, if it stays the way it is, or even if it experiences neoteny, that's pretty cool. Buuuuut~...if it stays in keeping with the usual lepidopteran growth patterns, then the mature form...Giant. Platypus. Butterfly. Predator.

o.O
Reply
:iconthomastapir:
thomastapir Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2010
It will suck your blood--with a long, sticky proboscis!! All flesh is but flowers to them. :no:
Reply
:icongrimkarasu:
GrimKarasu Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
What sort of cocoon would this thing have?
Reply
:iconthomastapir:
thomastapir Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2010
Man, that's a good question...How about something like a butterfly chrysalis, but huge, and covered with short brown fur? Now THAT would be creepy!
Reply
:icongrimkarasu:
GrimKarasu Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
Or what if it curled up into a ball, and its cocoon was its wings? After so much time, the tissue would split into these two big, leathery, ragged wings...but nah, i'm thinking too much "bat" now...
Reply
:iconthomastapir:
thomastapir Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2010
No man, I could totally see it! There's obviously such radical transphyleticism going on here that just about anything is possible.
Reply
(1 Reply)
:iconillogan:
illogan Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2008  Professional Traditional Artist
it's SO CUTE!!!!!
Reply
:iconthomastapir:
thomastapir Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2008
Hah, thank you! :lol:
Reply
:iconkhylov:
Khylov Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2008
The sharper highlights and - for lack of a better description - the way the shading has a line that denotes a hard edge/subtle core shadow to it, these are working well. The way the shading fades out on the edges of the pic is a nice artistic touch.

Quick question: Do you block out your areas for shading, or is it more just balancing it as you do the final render? I noticed that you said the shading was post (in PS or something similar I'd assume), so... just curious as to your approach here.
Reply
:iconthomastapir:
thomastapir Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2008
It's more balancing it as I go. I usually have a sense of the areas I want shaded based on the underlying volumes of the forms, and of value gradation based on any markings I envisioned, but the shading itself is cumulative and kind of "built up" in layers until, as you say, it balances out. You know, there isn't really too much Photoshopping to these; all of the shading is analog with pencil. The only thing I do in Photoshop is tweak the curves to punch up the contrast and (almost always) to darken the value overall. If that's not working to my satisfaction I SOMETIMES dodge/burn the shadows and highlights, but that's pretty rare. And then of course I sometimes shift the hue/sat and/or color balance when I feel like a subtle suggestion of desaturated color might better suit the mood of the drawing, usually based on the subject.

Thanks for your feedback, it's always good to hear from you!
Reply
:iconsphenacodon:
Sphenacodon Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2008
Pshaw. I bet you couldn't make an acid-spitting semi-feline puss moth caterpillar.

...

Me and my big mouth...
Reply
:iconthomastapir:
thomastapir Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2008
":ohnoes:"
Reply
:iconsaxophlutist:
Saxophlutist Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2008  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Interesting concept for a story!
Do these guys make good subjects for domestication?
Reply
:iconthomastapir:
thomastapir Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2008
Hm, good question! I never pictured them as anything other than wild animals, so I guess I never really thought about it. But I imagined them fairly slow-moving and docile, so I suppose they would make tractable pets. They certainly look like good candidates for stuffed toys! :lol:
Reply
:iconbaragon2001:
baragon2001 Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2008
aww hes so cute
Reply
:iconthomastapir:
thomastapir Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2008
He says, "Same back atcha!" :lol:
Reply
:iconbaragon2001:
baragon2001 Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2008
lol
Reply
:iconzippo4k:
Zippo4k Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2008
Looks like it could be something for Snaiad. :XD:
Cool. :)
Reply
:iconfeatherdragoon:
FeatherDragoon Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2008  Student Filmographer
Hee-hee, Platypillar. Original.
Reply
:iconcommander-salamander:
commander-salamander Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2008  Hobbyist General Artist
My brother who is with me right now, said that "It is cool as." He used the term Catypus.
Perhaps the Platypillar's beak is used much like that of a duck's, as in it dabbles for food in the hollowed trunks of trees. I dunno, it is cool as though.
Reply
:iconthomastapir:
thomastapir Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2008
So your brother is an advocate of Speculative Grammar, I take it? :lol: Please tell him I said thank you, and that he is cooler than.
Reply
:iconcommander-salamander:
commander-salamander Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2008  Hobbyist General Artist
My brother is 13 and we have never heard of Speculative Grammar (we thought at first you were talking about your grandmother...), its commonly used here in New Zealand. While we understand "cooler than" a more appropriate response would be "sweet as" (thanks) and perhaps a grunt (as is fitting for a male). There has been some speculation as to what exactly "as" is, but it is agreed that it is certainly more and very. I also wondered about the word 'cool' myself, apparently all the hip cats aren't using "cool" anymore. Its bitchin now.
Reply
:iconthomastapir:
thomastapir Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2008
Wow, I had no idea...I mean, *grunt*. I kind of like the way it's just "cool as," without any indication of what it's cool as. I mean, it could be as cool as thousands of ninjas, for all I know. Millions. Wailing on guitars and riding T rexes. The possibilities are wide open...

And "bitchin'"?? That's SOOOO 80s...Not that I should talk. I have been using the term "Awesome!" in place of "cool," without fail, for 25 years now.
:|
Reply
:iconcommander-salamander:
commander-salamander Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2008  Hobbyist General Artist
We call such oddities in our native tongue "Kiwi-isms", I had no idea that that particular one had origins in middle ages. Well I have to say that those all ninjas would be cool as. Awesome in fact. Choice (another kiwi-ism)
At least you not using radical!
Reply
:iconthomastapir:
thomastapir Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2008
Or "tubular"...Gag me with a spoon!

Does it really have origins in the Middle Ages? How so?
Reply
:iconcommander-salamander:
commander-salamander Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2008  Hobbyist General Artist
I don't know, maybe I'm wrong... I tried reading the stuff I looked up on the intarweb but it was too much work for my eyes.
Reply
:iconwhalewithlegs:
whalewithlegs Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2008
wow, that's cute & disturbing, but the metamorphosis is even creepier!
Reply
:iconthomastapir:
thomastapir Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2008
May I appropriate "Cute & Disturbing" as an alternate motto for Tapir Enterprises?
;P
Reply
:iconwhalewithlegs:
whalewithlegs Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2008
ps, that plotline concept is FANTASTIC
Reply
:iconthomastapir:
thomastapir Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2008
Thanks! One of the variations I considered would have humans subject to the same infection, with either the chimerical mutations or additional "larval" life cycle stage, depending on the scenario.
Reply
:iconwhalewithlegs:
whalewithlegs Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2008
I had totally not considered that!!!!
Reply
:iconwhalewithlegs:
whalewithlegs Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2008
Haha, be my guest.
Reply
:iconsolomen:
Solomen Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2008  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Why not have it metamorph into a newer form?
Reply
:iconthomastapir:
thomastapir Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2008
If we're dealing with the detrimental mutagenic virus, that's probably exactly what would happen. If it's the "counter-virus," on the other hand, the idea would be to preserve species integrity and minimize the degree of hybridization in the adult form.

Thanks for the fave, BTW!
Reply
Add a Comment:
 
×




Details

Submitted on
July 26, 2008
Image Size
142 KB
Resolution
820×500
Link
Thumb
Embed

Stats

Views
5,492
Favourites
128 (who?)
Comments
49
Downloads
65
×