Well, I just got Gimp, which is much better than I expected. Still figuring it out, so forgive me for the sloppiness of this picture. Still in Spain, so I only have a laptop and little time for art. I'll be back in less than a week.
Anyways, this is an unrealistically bright depiction of the forest floor in the Tower Forests, showing the diversity of squid descendants 500 million years in the future. For anyone not familiar, the Tower Forests are an ecosystem that could potentially emerge in the future after a devastating mass extinction event. The trees are a symbiosis between plants and fungi, growing up to 150 m (~500 ft) in height. The canopy of the forest is made of sheet webs spun by ant descendants, which look like caterpillars. The trees lay their branches onto this silk scaffolding, and as branches and other organisms die, soil builds up. Sometimes, these layers can't hold their own weight, so they break. This creates holes in the web, letting some light reach layers farther down.
On the right side, a predator glides over a patch of luminous fungi, ready to pick small pollinators from the growth. It is able to float like a balloon using air sacs full of hot methane. It has lost its tentacles, but has its hooked beak on the tip of a long appendage. Being venomous, it grabs onto its prey, waiting until it's paralyzed before it starts eating. Two rigid appendages behind he eyes are used for balance, and can be used to slowly push it along the ground. Since the air currents in this area are very slow, this animal does not have any trouble with wind pushing it around. It cannot move very quickly, but since it is venomous, it can defend itself. Next to it are some bright red, pepper-shaped animals, which are also squid descendants that float around like jellyfish. Their hunting strategy is different, using luminous tentacles to lure small insects toward them. The tentacles are sticky, so tiny insects have no chance at escaping. They are blind and have no control over their direction except for their buoyancy. Their bright red colour warns other animals that they are slightly poisonous. Behind these floaters, another, more familiar-looking squid propels itself through the air using the same methods that modern squid use to swim in water. Their "wings" are more like fins, and can be used to slowly propel them backward or forward. If necessary, they can push methane out of their air sac, which would both propel them backward and repel their predators with the scent. However, they would have to use their fins to stay airborne because of their lost buoyancy, and if they managed to escape, they would have to rest on the ground to recharge their methane supply. In the background, some shafts of light have managed to reach the forest floor. Whenever this happens, vegetation immediately starts to spring up, the soil being full of nutrients. When the holes in the canopy are closed by orthoformica, a type of ant descendant, these plants lose their leaves and release seeds which wait until the next tear in the canopy until they germinate. Because of the light reflected from the areas reached by sunlight, some small algae-like vegetation has sprung up in the near-darkness, barely able to photosynthesize. These tiny single-celled descendants of plants reproduce a few times before the light fades out, and like the plants, wait for another tear in the canopy before they start to grow again. In the bottom left corner, an insect descended from the yellow dung fly inspects the camera. Its halteres have devolved into fully grown wings, making it look almost exactly like meganeura
from 800 million years before this. Behind this "dragonfly", some dactylopteryx fly through the undergrowth, looking for fungal fruiting bodies to pollinate. Here's a full image and description of them: