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Cute fluffy parasite
By Preradkor   |   Watch
129 40 2K (4 Today)
Published: December 10, 2018
© 2018 - 2019 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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anonymous's avatar
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Vollie93439024's avatar
Vollie93439024New Deviant

And could they be bred as pets? :D

Preradkor's avatar
PreradkorHobbyist Traditional Artist
You are asking about octodactylopod or vampire possum? :D Well, this species of octodactylopod would be definitely to dangerous to keep it at home, but some smaller ones could probably easy become pets. And vampire possum would need to grow inside large octodactylopod during its larval development, so it would be problematic to breed in captivity. And I guess becouse vampire possum have no parental care, they would not be easy to tame. For example cat treats human owner as mother. It would not be possible with vampire possum. As a parasitoid it would not understandt idea of mother.
Vollie93439024's avatar
Vollie93439024New Deviant

Very sorry.

regigigas43's avatar
octodactylopod are so interesting, I really like the idea of no tetrapods land vertebrates 

Preradkor's avatar
PreradkorHobbyist Traditional Artist
:D
Dragonthunders's avatar
DragonthundersHobbyist 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 :) 
Preradkor's avatar
PreradkorHobbyist Traditional Artist
:D
scorpenomorph's avatar
scorpenomorphHobbyist 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
Preradkor's avatar
PreradkorHobbyist Traditional Artist
Each of these legs is analogue to our toe. :D
scorpenomorph's avatar
scorpenomorphHobbyist Traditional Artist
Oh ok ! these legs come from the evolution of the furrows forming the membranous swans! a bit like the "Eutrigla gurnardus"
Preradkor's avatar
PreradkorHobbyist 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.
scorpenomorph's avatar
scorpenomorphHobbyist 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)
Preradkor's avatar
PreradkorHobbyist Traditional Artist
Thats how best designs are made. :D And I also want to draw sentient octodactylopod some day. :D
scorpenomorph's avatar
scorpenomorphHobbyist 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 ^^
Preradkor's avatar
PreradkorHobbyist 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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skeeverbutt's avatar
skeeverbutt Photographer
Honestly i find this extremely fascinating
Preradkor's avatar
PreradkorHobbyist Traditional Artist
That's the point :D
SonicCaleritas's avatar
SonicCaleritasHobbyist Artist
This is really cool good to see your still uploading drawings
Preradkor's avatar
PreradkorHobbyist Traditional Artist
I never stopped to upload drawings. But I draw slowly, so my usual pace is about 4 drawings per year.
KingOvRats's avatar
KingOvRats Traditional Artist
koooootek :D Fajny pomysł i śliczne zwierzątko. 



tak wiem że to nie kotek ale i tak XD
Preradkor's avatar
PreradkorHobbyist Traditional Artist
:D
anonymous's avatar
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