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Crystalline Cloakmouth by Abiogenisis Crystalline Cloakmouth by Abiogenisis
More life from the Birrin Homeworld.

"The flowerjaw body plan reached its peak diversity in marine environments, where this group inhabits almost every major ecological niche. The deep oceans, while low in energy and deprived of oxygen and sunlight, are nevertheless home to numerous creatures. The beings of this ecosystem are able to exploit the abundant surface environment through either migrating vertically at night to feed, or by preying on creatures migrating into the deep to escape surface predators.

Sit and wait predation is an energy efficient way to hunt, and the Crystalline Cloakmouth represents an extreme adaptation to this way of life.

The reduced, soft body hangs below the highly modified mouthparts, which are dominated by huge vertical jaws spanning 13 inches from tip to tip. Sharp semitransparent mandibles are poised ready to snap shut on any prey lured inwards by the bioluminescent tip of the tongue. Prey that comes too close is skewered by the mandibles and then enclosed by the heavily pigmented jaws. This prevents they preys' defensive bioluminescence being detected by larger foes.

The two huge lower eyes are oriented upwards and modified to detect the bioluminescence of prey, or their shadows' against the downwelling surface light. The horizontal jaws, thin and elongated, are spread to the sides and covered in a line of fluid filled spheres able to detect vibrations in the water, a system also present around the rim of the main jaws. The horizontal mandibles are shorter and more robust than the crystalline seizing jaws, and are hidden away until prey is captured, which they proceed to butcher and then pass downwards into the pharynx.

The upper eyestalks are highly elongated and the post-ocular sections bifurcated into sensors adapted to detect the sex pheromones of conspecifics. Currents are so slow and the environment so vast that highly sensitive antennae are needed to detect minute concentrations of chemicals in the water. The small eyes on these tentacles are still functional but of low resolution; they monitor the light from the surface world and allow the Crystalline Cloakmouth to tell night from day.

Although ungainly, the Crystalline Cloakmouth can move quickly in short bursts to escape predators. Defence consists of several stages: First, the jaws with their large surface area are clamped rapidly together, shooting the creature away in the opposite direction. At the same time, thin translucent threads are extruded from modified limbs near the tail to form a mesh in the fleeing animals' wake. Predators caught in this are tangled by the sticky threads, which bioluminesce on contact and thus render the predator visible to its own enemies. Proteins on the Cloakmouths' skin inhibit this reaction when it becomes entangled in its own threads. As a final defence, the Crystalline Cloakmouth leaves the area using paired fins usually held tightly against its body, swimming slowly backwards to new hunting grounds. "
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:iconjoicyolszewski:
JoicyOlszewski Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2019  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh dear... those eyes are terrifing! Great job, as always :o (Eek) 
Reply
:iconabiogenisis:
Abiogenisis Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2019  Professional Digital Artist
Spooky telescopes 
Reply
:icontheyump:
TheYump Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2018  Student Digital Artist
How interesting a creature is, is proportional to how much don’t want to poke it. This creature is a solid 10/10.
Reply
:iconabiogenisis:
Abiogenisis Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2019  Professional Digital Artist
Cheers ;)
Reply
:iconsquidpasta:
Squidpasta Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
it's like a barreleye, humpback anglerfish, scaleless dragonfish, bobbit worm, terrestrial beetle, gulper eel, and some sort of squid had an insane demon-baby and i love it
Reply
:icondofork:
Dofork Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
I've only got one question: How does it swallow with that stalk in the way?
Reply
:iconabiogenisis:
Abiogenisis Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
stalk is just a modified tongue of the lower jaw. Folds back down
Reply
:icondofork:
Dofork Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Ah. Thanks!
Reply
:iconspiderwingfury:
SpiderwingFury Featured By Owner May 29, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I love it. Like a mix between deep sea fishies and a bobbit worm, you really get that ambush predator feeling from it.
Reply
:iconabiogenisis:
Abiogenisis Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
nasty little fella!
Reply
:iconspellmethemoon:
SpellMeTheMoon Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
amazing design
Reply
:iconabiogenisis:
Abiogenisis Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
cheers :)
Reply
:iconk9defend19:
k9defend19 Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2018
is this a universe that you created on your own or is it inspired from something else? and if so what
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:iconabiogenisis:
Abiogenisis Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
This one is mine, though the idea of a natural history approach to alien life was started by Wayne Barlowe I think
Reply
:iconk9defend19:
k9defend19 Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2018
oh cool i really like your art nice job creating it all dude
Reply
:iconjosephw71:
josephw71 Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2016
Kinda reminds me of a bobbit worm. I suppose that's intergalactic convergent evolution at work.
Reply
:iconabiogenisis:
Abiogenisis Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
Yeah they were the main inspiration
Reply
:iconjessiegodswell:
Jessiegodswell Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Okay, when I first saw this I thought it was an actual picture of a real deep sea creature, like a worm or something.
Reply
:iconabiogenisis:
Abiogenisis Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
Then I have succeeded! 
Reply
:iconkacperozuar:
kacperozuar Featured By Owner May 14, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
They remind me of the birrin, do they have a common ancestor or something?
Reply
:iconabiogenisis:
Abiogenisis Featured By Owner May 19, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
They do! Both are quadrilaterians
Reply
:iconilovetanks2k15:
Ilovetanks2k15 Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2016  Hobbyist Artist
The jaws remind me of the bobbit worm.
Reply
:iconabiogenisis:
Abiogenisis Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
Yep ;)
Reply
:iconkredri:
Kredri Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2016  Professional Artist
If there is a being so unnerving and so unfitting a mind and dreams of a living one out there - it is how that being should look like.
Reply
:iconcometstarfall:
CometStarfall Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2015
Another reminder of how terrifying the deep sea is. Even on a foreign planet, nightmare fuel abounds XD In all seriousness though, as a zoology major, all of this is just wonderful to watch and read.
Reply
:iconabiogenisis:
Abiogenisis Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
Glad you like it! Though I never found the deep scary for some reason... 
Reply
:iconcometstarfall:
CometStarfall Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2016
With an imagination as vivid as yours, I'm surprised XD
Reply
:iconabiogenisis:
Abiogenisis Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
I only see amazingly adapted creatures! They live in a world in which what you look like almost doesnt matter. They are pure function.
Reply
:iconcometstarfall:
CometStarfall Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2016
That's true. That's why I find your creatures so unique and interesting!
Reply
:iconabiogenisis:
Abiogenisis Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
glad to hear it!
Reply
:iconsesemiroh:
SeseMiroh Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
I'll be seeing this in my nightmares ;u;
Stunning art though woah
Reply
:iconextremecaterpie:
extremecaterpie Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
I'd probably end up getting a foot stuck in this guy's mouth if I went swimming anywhere near this thing.
Reply
:iconabiogenisis:
Abiogenisis Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Delicious!
Reply
:iconextremecaterpie:
extremecaterpie Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
... Remind me to never go swimming again...
Reply
:icongroshmak:
Groshmak Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2013
Great work, I'm stunned! 
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:iconabiogenisis:
Abiogenisis Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
:D
Reply
:iconaltair75:
Altair75 Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2013   Photographer
I dream that David Attenborough saw this! :happybounce: 

And as always, great work Alex! :D (Big Grin) 
Reply
:iconabiogenisis:
Abiogenisis Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
That would be amazing, hes a hero of mine :)
Reply
:iconaltair75:
Altair75 Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2013   Photographer
And mine, too. :) (Smile) 
Reply
:icon28dragons:
28dragons Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2013
wish there could be a movie with your creatures in it ^^
Reply
:iconabiogenisis:
Abiogenisis Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
So do I :P
Reply
:iconkiml42:
kiml42 Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That's pretty alien. Great drawing too.
Reply
:iconrklk:
rklk Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2013
AWESOME, you''re marvelous at this stuff.
Reply
:iconaditya2:
Aditya2 Featured By Owner May 10, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
How big is this organism? Tiny or giant? Is its stomach highly extendible?
Reply
:iconabiogenisis:
Abiogenisis Featured By Owner May 11, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
About a foot long, with a big belly.
Reply
:iconlosthellangel:
LostHellAngel Featured By Owner May 3, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
love it!!!!! :D
Reply
:iconaditya2:
Aditya2 Featured By Owner May 2, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Can I keep it as a pet along with my pet glow in the dark guppies?
Reply
:iconblackberryfinn:
BlackberryFinn Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2013
Not much weirder than Earth deep sea life.
Reply
:iconstargazer808:
Stargazer808 Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
How do you aply clean color and texture to your sketch to make it come out like this?
Reply
:iconabiogenisis:
Abiogenisis Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Soft standard photoshop brushes mostly
Reply
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Submitted on
January 28, 2012
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