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Living Fossil by Animalistic-Artworks Living Fossil by Animalistic-Artworks
This is one of the most common marine macro-organisms on the newly-explored planet. It was one of the first organisms encountered, and is common in almost every shallow-medium depth marine environment. Recent analysis of fossils have shown that these creatures are similar to organisms belonging to a very ancient group of marine organisms on this planet (some of which, following recent research, may have evolved to form the dominate terrestrial macro-organisms on the planet). Though it is thought that these living members are much more specialized and advanced than their extinct ancestors. While they do bare ancestral traits (simple body plan, carapace, muscular tail, etc), they have other advanced traits not seen in any other organisms on this planet, both living or extinct. An example of such is the odd-looking "eyes" they have near their mouth at the front of their carapace. While they resemble compound eyes (present on the arthropods of earth), they are actually much different. The small bumps are actually chemo-sensory organs, and between these is a thin (yet strong) transparent armor membrane which with the help of light sensitive cells inside the body, allow the creature to also detect lights, shadows, and maybe even shapes. (The latter is still unconfirmed). The chemo-sensors are used to detect food in their surroundings as well as pheromones given off my other individuals. This allows them to detect the location of other individuals of the same species without actually having to see them.

The mouth (not pictured in this image), is formed by a large rectangular shaped opening in the front of the carapace on the head. Inside, are two muscular "lips", which are opened quickly to suck in water and detritus from the seafloor. the mouth is then closed and a pair of internal radula like mouth structures remove any organic and nutrient rich matter from the sand particles, before they are removed via the paired waste vents. Food is then transported to a simple stomach where it is broken down and digested. (the stomach has a pouch, as well as a tube like coiled segment which acts as an intestine to remove the last nutrients from the matter) These creatures can filter vastly immense quantities of detritus and sand every day. Further indigestible material is also removed via the waste vents via separate tubules.

Liquid waste and toxins are removed via a small soft vent at the base of the underside of the carapace, where it meets the beginning of the tail (between the carapace and the tail girdle). When disturbed, they can release a jet of toxins and liquid waste that will deter most marine or terrestrial predators.

(Further anatomy, mating and other behaviors will be explored in depth in a separate post)

Planet: Currently no official name (WIP)
Organism: Currently no official name or species name (WIP)
:iconjuniorwoodchuck:
juniorWoodchuck Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2016
The more you upload for this, the more intrigued I get by it! :)
I really like how familiar it looks at first glance but how truly alien it is once one has a closer look at it
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:iconpreradkor:
Preradkor Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Looks like multicellular life on this planet is quite young. This shape is not hydrodynamic, so swimming fast would be impossible for this creature. And animals usually evolve to being either fast, toxic or invisible.
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:iconanimalistic-artworks:
Animalistic-Artworks Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
You would be surprised ;) The timeline of multi cellular life on this planet is actually quite a long one (even longer than earths), its just faced many more fluctuations and extinction events.
This guy is a bit of an oddball, having survived in sheltered shallow marine environments with little to no competition from predators for millions of years. Thus, speed was no big deal, and they retained the flat, beaver like tail for slow movement along the seabed. (and they are also slightly 'toxic'). Because of how well suited they were for their environment and lifestyle (, they survived in their current general form while their ancestors radiated and evolved to fill different niches.

Im currently working on terrestrial macro-organisms at the moment, and they are quite advanced. Stay tuned ;)
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December 26, 2016
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