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LEXLOTHOR's avatar

AE Invertebrate World

More of my paleonotlogy illustration appears in this gallery:


In the unpublished article "Alternate Earths" I put forth scenarios of what the world might have been if evolutionary developments had gone differently at critical junctions in the geologic past. This one is the most extreme.

What if vertebrates had never evolved?

Here we see hydrogen-fixing aerial lifeforms over a landscape of terrestrial corals.

art (c) John P. Alexander
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© 2008 - 2021 LEXLOTHOR
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Revan005's avatar
Awesome world!:D
Charlie2210's avatar
The world without extinction from ordovician 
Maybe you should have some cephalopods and descendants of snails.
grisador's avatar
Awesome :O

War of the worlds !
Is there a bigger version of this? It is kind of hard to see the details
LEXLOTHOR's avatar
I have just expanded the dpi of this picture.
acritarchman's avatar
Seriously awesome!! I would have thought about such a junction but I guess I could have been possible given appropiate circumstances. Have you considered another possible one involving the Ediacaran fauna?
LEXLOTHOR's avatar
The problem with the Ediacaran life forms is that we can't even be sure that they were animals. They may not even have been multicellular. They are so flat that it suggests either the need for transpiration through a single cell membrane or they could have photosynthesized in their tissues. I don't think that they were lichens as one biologist has suggested but they could have been some other sort of symbiotic forms. Some have three-part radial symmetry that is not seen again in the fossil record. I have a pet theory that they did not live on the sandy bottoms where they have been preserved but rather were plastered to the underside of ice floes. I do consider that they were a branch of life that dead ended when large multicellular forms appeared just before the Cambrian Explosion. Had this not happened they may not have evolved much further.
Emperorofnothing's avatar
Is there a bigger version of this picture. I love speculative biology and this is a wonderful illustration.

LEXLOTHOR's avatar
I hand colored several copies of the pen & ink original. Each is a little different, but there is only one original.
Dark7Hero's avatar
i would so enjoy reading articles related to said species and alternate earths =)
great work
LEXLOTHOR's avatar
I may yet provide more detailed descriptions for the pictures in this series.
Dark7Hero's avatar
chillypaz's avatar
Utterly amazing! Three cheers for you! :D
Battledroidunit047's avatar
LEXLOTHOR's avatar
No, this depicts a natural ecology with preadator and prey species.
Battledroidunit047's avatar
Then Why the missiles?
LEXLOTHOR's avatar
Ah... those are living animals. They are airborne tunicates with electric organs like eels. They can fix ediatomic hydrogen and 02 through electrolytic conversion of water and ignite it in their gut to produce reaction force.
Battledroidunit047's avatar
guess that would explain the rocket propulsion.
you can publish the artical on deviantart i would totally read it
LEXLOTHOR's avatar
This article was written so long ago that it was typed on a manual typewriter. I am sure I have the manuscript in my files somewhere.
human-groveback's avatar
I'm working on worlds similar to this 1, except 1 class of invertebrates dominates & becomes humanoid.
LEXLOTHOR's avatar
Even chordates began as invertebrates. However a humanoid invertebrate is an oxymoron.
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