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Submitted on
September 18, 2011
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Dolabranychus by draconicaeaeon Dolabranychus by draconicaeaeon
Been futzing with this for a while, so I figured I'd just post it and be done with it.

This was done for :iconworld-craft:'s Mist Planet Challenge.

The Dolabranychus is a herd animal that uses its long, flexible neck to browse lower tree branches and shrubs. It senses the world around it via vibrations picked up by the feathery appendages on its legs. When moving, the creatures perform a signature "double tap" step, so as to prevent alarming its neighbors. When walking, these creatures move slowly, but when provoked the giant pickaxe-like claws that give it its name are wielded with frightening speed. These can puncture the exoskeleton of most predators, and make the Dolabranychus a less than optimal meal. The claws are also utilized to hook and pull foliage within reach of the mouth, which is lined with peg-like teeth arranged like typewriter keys.

Dolabranychus has only an exoskeleton, so the teeth are grated together by warping the cartilage that holds them in place. The neck is thick and muscular, and can extend or contract slightly.

Edit: (more info)

These creatures are 2 to 3 meters tall. While they weigh on earth around 600 to 1000 pounds, the low gravity of the smaller mist planet has them clocking in at about half that weight.

These creatures have evolved from swimming ancestors, and have since then repurposed feathered swimmerettes as sensory organs, and buoyancy chambers as lungs. Several limbs have been lost to time, and the ones that remain are homologous to the feeding and mating appendages of their ancestors. They retain vestigial gills housed under the lateral facial plates, but their primary oxygen source comes from air pumped through the spiracles into lungs housed under the central carapace.

Dolabranychus move their limbs via muscles, not hydraulic systems. The muscles are attached to ridges on the inside of the exoskeleton.

Reproduction is executed with gonads housed in the anterior end of the main carapace. The "female" produces packets of ovum, which the "male" places inside his carapacial cavity and fertilizes. The young incubate, develop from their larval stages, and then are birthed from inside the male.
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CrossDevice Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2014
Wow, very interesting. 
TheGranadian Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Outstanding concept! I love the fact that alien life can be imagined in so many different ways.
LostHellAngel Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
surthur Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
very cool shape :D
draconicaeaeon Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2011
8H29B Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2011
beautiful concept!
draconicaeaeon Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2011
Ayumi-Nemera Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
i'm really impressed with this. you took the time to think of everything! (which is like me when i become obsessed with an idea) And i really love it. Even though i tend to feel that insect-like alien organisms are over-used, you still found a way to make this one individualistic and interesting! good job!
draconicaeaeon Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2011
Wow, thanks! And yeah, I really like putting some thought into creature design, it's a good problem-solving exercise. Or something.

And yeah, I agree that the insect = alien thing tends to be a bit of a cheap pull, but I'm glad that you thought it turned out OK!
Ayumi-Nemera Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
lol yeah. I have an alien design that I've taken the time to think of everything about, I just haven't drawn it recently enough to believe it would be acceptable on DA. When i do draw it again, I'm hoping it'll meet future zoology's standards. :/

And you're welcome~!
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