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Cute fluffy parasite by Preradkor Cute fluffy parasite by Preradkor

A scynthetusk is predatory octodactylopod which lives 100 million years in the future, in rainforests of eastern Siberia. Big as leopard, strong and well armed, it hunts many smaller arboreal animals with ease. But there is a species of small hunter, which scent fills its hearts with terror. Cunning and agile marsupial descendant, known as vampire possum. Octodactylopod on the picture is now attacked by one. Vampire possum is not a predator but omnivore similar to large dormouse. It has however very good reason to hunt octodactylopods and to be master at it. This female is pregnant, but it has no pouch and will not feed her babies with milk like her ancestors did long ago. It needs a host to nourish her joeys. The only place where they can develop is inside octodactylopod respiratory system (known as labyrinth organs and located inside its skull), where she will try to inject them trough “nostrils” on creature back. If this unlucky scynthetusk would not manage to shake off or kill her quickly, vampire possum larvae would live inside its respiratory system during next three painful months which may end by death if host becomes to emaciated. Most of octodactylopod females have brooding pouch inside their labyrinth organs. They use it to gestate their own larvae which feed on milk-like secretion produced there. This scynthetusk don’t have anything like this because it is a male. For vampire possum it makes no difference. Her ancestor larvae few million years ago were feeding on octodactylopod milk, so they were limited to infest only brooding females. Vampire possum larvae feed on blood instead, so they can parasite on every octodactylopod if only it is big enough, no matter if it is a brooding female or not. Its descendants will later evolve very different, non-parasitic larvae forms.

 

Scynthetusk is descendant of cichlid (here you can find more about octodactylopods fav.me/d5kggry ), vampire possum is descendants of sugar glider (which was shipped to Eurasia and released to the wild long ago by humans).

 

Vampire possum biology is of course inspired by:iconsheather888: awesome changelings of Serina. If you know them, you can probably guess some of the ways which evolution of vampire possum descendants might go. :D I was wondering if changeling vertebrate-holometabola physiology can be applied to mammals too. Marsupials are group which could go this way, making use of octodactylopods to free larva from mothers care (it would enable evolution from parasite, to parasitoid, scavenger and thereafter free living insect-hunting larva which would probably be imposible in placentalia). Also marsupials are group which is quite outshined by placental mammals and birds today. Similar way like archosaurs in triassic and mammals in cretaceous were. If they will not go completely outcompeted, there still can be a quite interesting future waiting for them. If so, they can evolve into something very different before it happens.

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:iconinkdoodler:
inkdoodler Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2019
This is perfect.
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:iconregigigas43:
regigigas43 Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2019
octodactylopod are so interesting, I really like the idea of no tetrapods land vertebrates 

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:iconpreradkor:
Preradkor Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2019  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
:D
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:icondragonthunders:
Dragonthunders Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2019  Hobbyist Artist
Is really nice to see one of these so creative and amazing vertebrates in a new fresh picture, specially in this style :D
As well the small new vampire marsupial :) 
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:iconpreradkor:
Preradkor Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2019  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
:D
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:iconhomer1960:
homer1960 Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2018
 amazing 
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:iconscorpenomorph:
scorpenomorph Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I still love your Octodactylopods so much, it's amazing how you get to make a creature, which seems improbable, totally likely and realistic!

I'm still intrigued by the fact that a fish can grow 8 members, but it gives it a spidery aspect that I like a lot!

<3 <3 <3
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:iconpreradkor:
Preradkor Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Each of these legs is analogue to our toe. :D
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:iconscorpenomorph:
scorpenomorph Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Oh ok ! these legs come from the evolution of the furrows forming the membranous swans! a bit like the "Eutrigla gurnardus"
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:iconpreradkor:
Preradkor Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I based this adaptation on this gurnard, however ancestor was cichlid. And at first I didnt planned to draw octodactylopod, it was just a cichlid with gurnard-like limbs on pelvic fins (in gurnards they are on pectoral). But after I finished drawing I asked myself how land descendants of this species could look like.
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:iconscorpenomorph:
scorpenomorph Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I understand ! I also had this, with one of my favorite animals, Bats! by imagining arboreal bats, I finally reached my RoseSpine ( fav.me/dcfpbcp ) and then to a new Macrochiroptera-based sapient species (I hope I'll have time to draw it, a day)
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:iconpreradkor:
Preradkor Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thats how best designs are made. :D And I also want to draw sentient octodactylopod some day. :D
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:iconscorpenomorph:
scorpenomorph Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
it would be very interesting, I wonder how a pseudo-fish could think and be gifted with logic ... I can not wait to see ^^
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:iconpreradkor:
Preradkor Featured By Owner Edited Dec 13, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I have sketch of skull since about 2 years. They will be significantly smaller than humans, like small children, with partially upright body (Simillar to Desert sweeper species). Their head will be disproportionally big comparing to body (thats where not only brain but respiration system, brooding pouch of females and one of hearts are located) They will walk only on two hind pairs of limbs, while two front will have very elongated, multi-phalanx tarsus (like amblypygi "feelers" but not so long) which will work as prehensile tentacles. And color of fur will be probably mostly blue.
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(1 Reply)
:iconskeeverbutt:
skeeverbutt Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2018
Honestly i find this extremely fascinating
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:iconpreradkor:
Preradkor Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
That's the point :D
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:iconsoniccaleritas:
SonicCaleritas Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2018  Hobbyist Artist
This is really cool good to see your still uploading drawings
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:iconpreradkor:
Preradkor Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I never stopped to upload drawings. But I draw slowly, so my usual pace is about 4 drawings per year.
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:iconsoniccaleritas:
SonicCaleritas Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2018  Hobbyist Artist
I see
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:iconkingovrats:
KingOvRats Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2018   Traditional Artist
koooootek :D Fajny pomysł i śliczne zwierzątko. 



tak wiem że to nie kotek ale i tak XD
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:iconpreradkor:
Preradkor Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
:D
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:iconmynameisnotdave23:
mynameisnotdave23 Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Here's hoping for fish and moth possums.
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:iconpreradkor:
Preradkor Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
 I have diferent plans for them. :D
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:iconmynameisnotdave23:
mynameisnotdave23 Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Ooo, Interesting.
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:iconaxel-astro-art:
Axel-Astro-Art Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
This is so cool, I have never seen an octodactylopod with its mouth open. It looks very alien, yet you can still tell it's a teleost fish. 
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:iconpreradkor:
Preradkor Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
On few others drawings they also have opened mouth. :D
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:iconaxel-astro-art:
Axel-Astro-Art Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Right, just looked them. Anyway, the jaw anatomy is clearer here, it's easier to see how it works and how different is from the sarcopterygian jaw. 
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:iconpreradkor:
Preradkor Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Just picture is bigger and more detailed. :D
Also you can see this species of octodactylopod is quite primitive. Still has vestigial tail and no fur, which shows it is not fully endothermic yet. :D
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:iconportentosaman:
PortentosaMan Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2018  Student Traditional Artist
This is awesome :O I love to see these back!
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:iconarcheoraptor38:
archeoraptor38 Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2018
why is green
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:iconpreradkor:
Preradkor Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Well, the better question is why no species of today mammals are green. Mammals usually cannot see difference between color red and green. Also many species are nocturnal, so their predators also cannot see if they are green or brown.
From mammals only primates can  really see color red and green and among them there are some species which are definitely brighter colored than most of mammals (mandrill, guenon, uakari, vervet, golden snub-nosed monkey) as they can use visual species recognition signals. But color vision evolved quite recntly in primates, so they didnt evolved blue pigment YET to color their fur blue or green. If some diurnal mammal would evolve good color vision, it would be only a matter of time to evolve also more complicated color pattern than rest of mammals, as it would be quite usefull adaptation. So this marsupial descendant is diurnal, see colors well and is green.
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:iconarcheoraptor38:
archeoraptor38 Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2018
I agree that full color vision is rare in mammals, I think marsupials have it,so do squirrels and primates, but green afaik isa structural color that mammal fur would have a hard time developing, sheather did soemthing related to mammal fur structure, something about flat hairs
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:iconpreradkor:
Preradkor Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
In most birds green plumage color is produced not by pigment, but by prismatic reflection which gives blue color. Combined with yellow pigment it makes green feathers. Only turacos developed real green pigment in feathers. Hairs have simpler structure, but are composed of the same material, so can be equipped with the same colors.

Among mammals ONLY primates are known to see red and green. Squirells dont, and about marsupials, some species are known to have trichromatic vision, but see ultravioled instead and no red and green.
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:iconarcheoraptor38:
archeoraptor38 Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2018
Idotn think the structural changes are implausible but they would need to be changed,hm the utlraviolet thign is interesting, I will have to chekc if squirresl truly see red or not, I alwasy heared they did
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:iconaxel-astro-art:
Axel-Astro-Art Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
I have read that mammals most likely lost their colour vision because they spent millions of years relegated to underground/nocturnal niches during the Mesozoic. So I was wondering, do you think earlier synapsids had a more complete vision and maybe different hair colouration to exploit that advantage? 
I think perhaps some small arboreal therapsids looked like this during mating season: 
Fantasy Lilac Dragon by RikerCreatures
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:iconpreradkor:
Preradkor Featured By Owner Edited Dec 10, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I dont know if earlier non-mammal synapsids had fur at all (aside from whiskers)*, but I am sure before underground/nocturnal stage some species were more colorful than today mammals.

*Well, small nocturnal species needed fur more than its big diurnal ancestors.
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