Abiogenisis's avatar
Crystalline Cloakmouth
By Abiogenisis   |   Watch
1K 151 57K (2 Today)
Published: January 29, 2012
© 2012 - 2019 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. "
Image size
800x806px 214.18 KB
anonymous's avatar
Join the community to add your comment. Already a deviant? Sign In
Comments (148)
Blood-Asp0123's avatar
Blood-Asp0123|Hobbyist Traditional Artist
That is amazing AND terrifying. you should send it to Markiplier, he'd love it XD
Reply  ·  
Abiogenisis's avatar
Abiogenisis|Professional Digital Artist
:P
Reply  ·  
JoicyOlszewski's avatar
JoicyOlszewski|Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh dear... those eyes are terrifing! Great job, as always :o (Eek) 
Reply  ·  
Abiogenisis's avatar
Abiogenisis|Professional Digital Artist
Spooky telescopes 
Reply  ·  
TheYump's avatar
TheYump|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  ·  
Abiogenisis's avatar
Abiogenisis|Professional Digital Artist
Cheers ;)
Reply  ·  
Squidpasta's avatar
Squidpasta|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  ·  
Dofork's avatar
Dofork|Hobbyist General Artist
I've only got one question: How does it swallow with that stalk in the way?
Reply  ·  
Abiogenisis's avatar
Abiogenisis|Professional Digital Artist
stalk is just a modified tongue of the lower jaw. Folds back down
Reply  ·  
Dofork's avatar
Dofork|Hobbyist General Artist
Ah. Thanks!
Reply  ·  
SpiderwingFury's avatar
SpiderwingFury|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  ·  
Abiogenisis's avatar
Abiogenisis|Professional Digital Artist
nasty little fella!
Reply  ·  
SpellMeTheMoon's avatar
SpellMeTheMoon|Hobbyist General Artist
amazing design
Reply  ·  
Abiogenisis's avatar
Abiogenisis|Professional Digital Artist
cheers :)
Reply  ·  
k9defend19's avatar
is this a universe that you created on your own or is it inspired from something else? and if so what
Reply  ·  
Abiogenisis's avatar
Abiogenisis|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  ·  
k9defend19's avatar
oh cool i really like your art nice job creating it all dude
Reply  ·  
josephw71's avatar
Kinda reminds me of a bobbit worm. I suppose that's intergalactic convergent evolution at work.
Reply  ·  
Abiogenisis's avatar
Abiogenisis|Professional Digital Artist
Yeah they were the main inspiration
Reply  ·  
Jessiegodswell's avatar
Jessiegodswell|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  ·  
Abiogenisis's avatar
Abiogenisis|Professional Digital Artist
Then I have succeeded! 
Reply  ·  
kacperozuar's avatar
kacperozuar|Hobbyist Digital Artist
They remind me of the birrin, do they have a common ancestor or something?
Reply  ·  
Abiogenisis's avatar
Abiogenisis|Professional Digital Artist
They do! Both are quadrilaterians
Reply  ·  
Ilovetanks2k15's avatar
The jaws remind me of the bobbit worm.
Reply  ·  
View 1 reply
anonymous's avatar
Join the community to add your comment. Already a deviant? Sign In
©2019 DeviantArt
All Rights reserved