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AE Death From Above

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More of my paleontology illustrations appear in this gallery:

[link]

There is a remarkable statement in A.S. Romer's famous textbook on vertebrate paleontology. It occurs in the section on Palaeozoic fish. He states that there is no particular reason known why lungfish with two pairs of fins happened to crawl out of the water to evolve into the tertapods (4-limbed animals). The land could just as well have been colonized by six legged vertebrates.

This picture depicts a world that diverged in the Devonian. It is one in which tetrapods never evolved. Instead the dominant land animals are sectapods derived from a group of fish known as acanthodians. The potential variety of 6-limbed creatures is even greater than that of 4-legged forms. This has to do with the freeing up of extra limbs for running or wings or manipulation. Likewise sectapods could have gotten about half again larger than the largest dinosaurs because they could have distributed their weight more widely.

In this scenario I also threw in an even weirder concept. These are terrestrial (and aerial) placoderm derivatives. Placoderms were the so-called armored fish. I have created a flying form with a completely different arrangement of jaws than we are familair with.

art (c) John P. Alexander
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© 2008 - 2021 LEXLOTHOR
Comments29
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platypus12's avatar
Oh wait…sorry—you had already mentioned Acanthodians… My bad… ^^;
platypus12's avatar
Did placoderms have more than four limb-like fins? Because I think Acanthodians could do a similar job.
PeteriDish's avatar
RedVioletPanda's avatar
Amazing piece here. I like the idea you posed here, it rather thought provoking yet at the same time, very cool. I have to control myself because to me, because I'm thinking of Avatar and I hope you don't mind, due to the six-legged creatures. Now it's making me think if Cameron, Barlowe and the other minds in the creative process behind Avatar where thinking of when they picked six-legged creatures (apparently according to one source, the banshee evolved from a fish creature).

The speculative work behind this is great, and the color choices are bright and vivbrant.
LEXLOTHOR's avatar
THANX for the praise.

I developed this concept for a book I never completed.

I have some very strong problems with Cameron's "Avatar" creatures from a phyletic point of view.
RedVioletPanda's avatar
SuperSmurgger's avatar
This is incredibly beautiful !!! All these colours and details are uterly breath-taking !!! I just love the creatures conception and the brightness details as well !!
LEXLOTHOR's avatar
THANX for the praise.

This picture is part of a series of alternate evolution pictures that I did:

[link]
SuperSmurgger's avatar
You're very Welcome ! :huggle: And thank you !
Charanty's avatar
Just amazing!
Always loved 6-legged creatures, but these ones are outstanding!
Ozkumeti's avatar
Oooh! Love it!
kimikow1's avatar
wow!!!!......... very creative!!!!
LEXLOTHOR's avatar
Glad you like it. This picture is now reaching a whole new audience.
EarlNoir's avatar
aww this is looking really great x3
whalewithlegs's avatar
wha.. does it have a gun muzzle??
LEXLOTHOR's avatar
The flying form is derived from jawless placoderms. Instead it has retractile mouth parts.
joeabuy1000's avatar
Paedon me for asking, in case I am mistaken, but didn't the placoderms have primitive jaws? If I remember correctly, they were the first vertebrates to have jaws. If you were going for armored *jawless* fish, the correct term (although polyphyletic and obsolete) is ostracoderm.

Of course, the description did say that the placoderms have a different jaw configuration rather than imply that the placodermii were indeed jawless.
LEXLOTHOR's avatar
You are technically correct. I appreciate it when someone gives serious consideration to one of my paleo-related works.
joeabuy1000's avatar
Aw, twas nothing. I'm glad you took it well.

Anyway, to clarify, are those flying monster armor fish still placoderms or are they ostracoderms?
LEXLOTHOR's avatar
whalewithlegs's avatar
so, sort of a piston mouth?
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