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REP: The Shovelheads

By Ramul
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Shovelheads are a fossorial taxon of tentaculopods, generally digging through soil of varying firmness, with some species being borers inhabiting the symbiotic bark of trees. Completely blind, they rely on their sense of vibration, touch and smell, having enlarged sensory tentacles they will hide underneath their wide head shield. Rather than using their limbs, shovelheads dig with said head shield, using it to loosening soil and pushing themselves forward, using their limbs mostly to either anchor themselves to the tunnel's walls or moving loose soil backwards. Their hindmost segment is thickened and forms a shield that prevents them from being pulled out backwards or predators entering their tunnels from behind, as well as being a suitable tool for pushing soil away. Shovelheads have varied diets, with the more primitive, elongate forms often being subterraneous predators while the more derived forms tend to feed on vermiphyte roots or live as detritivores.
Shovelheads generally tend to have small clutches, with some species intensely caring for their broods.

Horseshoe worm: A primitive species lacking many of the characteristic adaptations of more advanced shovelheads. They inhabit loose soil, where they prey on smaller subterraneous organisms, sometimes slithering through forest litter at night.

Flanged shovelhead: A member of a strange taxon endemic to the Lost Continent, being a prime example of parallel evolution, as many of the traits they share with higher shovelhead taxa have evolved independently. The most distinct differences are the limbs and the flanges above them, otherwise their lifestyle is very similar to the regular derives shovelheads living on the other two continents.
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© 2020 Ramul
Comments8
anonymous's avatar
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WilyWyvern's avatar
WilyWyvernProfessional General Artist

Looks

Ramul's avatar

Looks

like a truncated comment.

WilyWyvern's avatar
WilyWyvernProfessional General Artist

👍

Sinperium's avatar
SinperiumHobbyist Digital Artist

Nice solid sense critters!

ShiningChild's avatar
ShiningChildProfessional Traditional Artist

that is really cool!=P

DreamMaker00's avatar
DreamMaker00Student General Artist

Fascinating artwork and concept. Is this for a story you're writing?

Ramul's avatar

No, it's simply a worldbuilding project done for fun and excercise, consisting of these design sheets and occasionally scenery paintings. However, I do have a story full of various aliens I'm writing, with currently 7 chapters and an assortment of drawings in the "A to Z" folder. While it's nowhere close to hard sci-fi like the Red Earth Project, there are some similarities in the creature design present.

DreamMaker00's avatar
DreamMaker00Student General Artist

Very cool! keep up the good work! :)

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