Thursday, February 15, 2007

Barnards' Swordswallower - Painting and Critical Review

This is 'Sword in its natural habitat - the metal rich waters of its home world, filtering plankton from the water using its mucus net to guid food into its mouth. Small relatives of the 'Sword called Puukkos [named after a small Finnish knife] shelter in its shadow, feeding on plankton and parasites of the 'Sword, which in return provides them protection from predators.

Critical Review: I am pleased with this creature, and think it is reasonably novel, however there are problems with such a creature:

1. As pointed out by DeviantArt user Nemo Ramjet, the large main fin though creating a current moving generally towards the mouth, would also deflect some food away from it and thus reduce feeding efficiency.

2. Although I feel it would work, the gas-bladder used to control depth in water instead of shark like pectoral fins would likely mean the creature could not quickly or easily change its depth.

I invite anyone to add their own reviews and criticisms to the design: I would love to see what others see wrong [or right!] with this alien, and to figure out ways to improve it.

Anyway, enjoy!


Keenir said...

The Swordswallower is a very ingenious designwork. My congratulations.

I would not worry too much about the Swordswallower not being able to get every single bit of floating foodstuff, nor it being able to turn quickly -- if our ocean is any example, not everything can turn on a dime (or on a car), and I'd think that even whales miss some plankton when they eat.

have nice days.

_RosE_ from Black Tower of Time said...

very nice work. Also welcome to ;-) I hope you will have the time and enough fun to post some more exozoology deveopments here :-)
The idea of the Swordswallower is realy great especial you choused to use a evolutionary relation to snails and octopy. First I thought the swordswallower is an animal as smale as a finger, but after read of the informations you gave its incredible big thing. Sadly I did't come up with a similar idea for my worlds oceans.. it would be a nice thing there, but sure I can't stole youre idea, but maybe it will push my creative thoughts a bit.

see you on devianArt
_RosE_ from Black Tower of Time

Anonymous said...

keep up the great work !

ken said...

Hi ALex, this is Kenny from sketch blog.

Just been at your website - your work is awsome man, very strong creature design, and love the site design too.

Anyhoo, this image looks great to me, the effect of the water on the body surface is extremely well done.

Ken :D

ken said...

er.... i meant to say, sketch group, not sketch blog. :D

Stig said...

As the swallower has a crop, could it rapidly ingest water using the crop to create a suction force? A bit like some carnivorous pond plants do, or those odd-looking muppet-like predatory tunicates (Megalodicopia hians). Great pictures BTW.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE your work! ^_^

Moon said...

the design is amazing! And I am not nitpicky about how the creature works since it is an alien.

I do want to ask though if the fin glows. I like the glow of the fin though am not sure if it is an inherent glow or if it is the reflection from water.

There are some fish I have seen (though I don't have a good image) where they have markings that glow in the dark. I'm not sure if this will add or take away from the design but it may make the glow stand out.

Lovely work and I hope my creature designs can someday be as beautiful, and realistic as yours!

(glowing fish)

Kevin Bannister said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kevin Bannister said...

If I were to suggest any changes, I think I'd agree with Stig about some sort of suction-filtration system.

Maybe a lung-like structure at the back of the crop to draw water in, in tandem with the rapid opening of the membrane. That would require more muscle and thus a higher metabolism, but if there's enough of a consistent food source (say, if SS's only feed in earnest at dawn and dusk like on Earth) I think it could work.

Here's a better idea: a pair of curved ridges along the sides of the main body to guide water down and into the crop. This would reduce the creature's mobility to some extent, so maybe they're more flexible and fold up when it closes its "mouth" to get around.

Cheers dude, excellent work.

Ezio said...

Hi Alex,
I've seen your image in DeviantArt site before going here and what surprising me is your life simulation in all your images. Here's an example, a good one!

Since last year I'm searching images (and the Artist behind that, firstly) that aren't the same: all different but with only 1 idea, the alien life is a simple "collage" of animal earth wildlife...

My best compliments, for your art and expecially for your brain, it's not usual to see fiction and science at the same level!

I'd like, moreover, to share with you my passion for "alien" lives hidden in our millions of years ago and so I'd be happy if you take a glimpse at them... (please no dinos) on my own I'm slowly building a scientific site of our very very far in the time of the primitive form of life. I think you could be interested as in Australia has been discovered a great piece of our forgotten life science era.

Have a good time from Italy

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