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juniorWoodchuck's avatar

TERRA MIRUS: Jiaolong

Named after the legendary dragon of Chinese folklore, the colossal jiaolong (Basilochelys titanis) is the undisputed ruler of the oceans. Reaching up to 40 meters in length, it even dwarfs the giant blue whales of bygone days. As it is the case with all cervisomids, what appears to be the jiaolong’s long and slender body is actually its neck. The actual body is extremely atrophied and completely encased in a solid shell that protects most vital organs. Only a small part of the digestive system is located inside the shell however as a majority of digestion occurs in the hypertrophied gut-like cervival esophagus - a trait found in all cervisomids.  

Unlike most other aquatic cervisomids however, the jialong does not usually use its atrophied shelled body as a fluke. Living in open oceans, it is a slow swimmer that propels itself through the water with the help of two undulating fin fringes running along both sides of its neck. While swimming, the entirety of the neck stays rather rigid, only moving ever so slightly to change directions. 
As their enormous size prevents them from coming ashore to lay eggs, jialongs gives live birth to their young.

While adult jiaolongs most commonly live alone, their young -who still have to fear predators- sometimes form small groups of two to six individuals.

© by me
Image details
Image size
4126x4673px 12.72 MB
Make
Canon
Model
MG5500 series
Published:
Comments109
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juniorWoodchuck's avatar
It’s a marine descendant of turtles 
vasix's avatar
Looking at this it makes me think of what a giant marine filter-feeding snake might look like. I wonder though
juniorWoodchuck's avatar
I have definitely been thinking about something like that too but i then decided on going the chelonian route...
Might still do something with the snakes though ;)
vasix's avatar
My thought was that a dermochelydid might be a fine filter feeder if its throat structures were to become finer and filamentous? Might be an okay lunge feeder I guess if it underwent a few changes here and there. 
juniorWoodchuck's avatar
Yeh, that would certainly be a pretty cool creature design!
I haven't seen a body plan as creative as this in a long time! Tell me though, what does it eat? Blue whales spend all their time stuffing themselves with krill and other planktic organisms just to maintain their size, and this fella has a pretty small maw...
juniorWoodchuck's avatar
Thank you, I’m glad to hear that! :D
Their jaws kinda stretch when opened to increase their size so they feed pretty much like modern-day cetaceans 
BaconPeppa's avatar
jesus this is amazing
juniorWoodchuck's avatar
Thank you very much! :D
TheAquariumSlider's avatar
A snake like turtle?Great concept.I'm the only one who thinked about knifefish and electric eel?
Dinolover1416's avatar
juniorWoodchuck's avatar
Thank you very much!
Kinda like a cross between a turtle and a geoduck.
juniorWoodchuck's avatar
Oh yeah, now that you say it...
PeteriDish's avatar
this is fucking awesome! so it doesn't have legs at all though? that's kinda unfortunate... :D
juniorWoodchuck's avatar
Thank you very much! :D
Yep, it's completely legless and uses the fin fringes on either side of its neck to swim
PeteriDish's avatar
well that's probably the most outlandish turtle ever :D
juniorWoodchuck's avatar
Hahaha, you're cute... You think I can't come up with more outlandish turtles
PeteriDish's avatar
i can't wait what you can come up with!
juniorWoodchuck's avatar
Let's hope you won't be disappointed
PeteriDish's avatar
nevuuuuuurrrrrr!!! :D
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