Sporting seven eyes, twelve legs, and five stinging tails, the book monster is a fearsome adversary. About cat-sized, it has the ability to flatten and fold itself to hide inside of books. When unsuspecting library patrons are alone, it crawls out and attacks. The tails inject not venom, but an acid so caustic it liquefies skin in seconds, and another chemical that reacts with organic tissues to rapidly reach boiling temperatures. Those injected are literally ripped open by the explosive evaporation of water while the acid simultaneously melts through their connective tissues from the inside-out. This creature will likely feature in a future episode of The Nathaniel Series (first book coming out in April or May).
At some point in the life cycle of these parasites, several of them join, wrapping around each other and secreting a glue-like substance, becoming the symbiotic being shown above. They use their claws to attach to the stomach lining of their host, piercing it to drink blood.
Most of my old work I threw away years ago, but I found some drawings of mine I made in the nineties. I wasn't taking art seriously then; I was just passing the time. Some of these I made when I was eight. The colors didn't all come out right on the computer. Perhaps me scanner or my monitor can't handle fluorescents (I used a lot of fluorescent crayons in the nineties). Click on the read more link to see them.
These are some flower ideas I had for the jungles of Punlitorea. These are all epiphytes.
1) To prevent crawling animals form taking nibbles on it, the sepals are fused into a flat, rigid, sharp-edged, star-shaped collar.
2) has very long, thick, and nearly rigid sepals that stick straight out to catch the attention of pollinators. The petals are tiny by comparison.
3) has rough, crumpled, petals.
4) is like #1 in that it protects itself from crawling animals by having sharp needles at the end of each petal.
5) has numerous bladder-petals that form into spheres. Pollinators must climb between and underneath to reach the nectar below. While feeding, the pollinators are thus hidden and protected from predators.
6) The males and females of this species have petal designs that are mirror images of each other. The pollinators have a psychological need for balance and so alternate the sex of the flower they visit.
7) is shown below. It's pretty.
The tallest trees on planet Punlitorea have some of the smallest leaves, which are shaped like hollow vases and hang below the branches. The tree just below the center tree and the ones against the extreme right of the picture have the largest leaves. Each "shelf" is a single leaf with swirling veins. Also on the extreme right is a short tree with branches at unusual angles. The branches tend to grow opposite each other at 45 degrees and 135 degrees from the stem. The plaid balls are made of vines. Just below the plaid ball is a cactus with spines so long they are more like hairs
The animals are even more interesting. The creature in the upper left perches with its rear, which contains a rocket nozzle. The most posterior segment has four stabilizing fins, the remnants of its limbs. The anterior two segments are actually the neck of the animal. While in flight, it unfolds straight to grab prey with the mouth. The favorite food of these predators include the floating balls seen among the "mushrooms" on the right and just under the "palms" on the left. Unfortunately, another predator mimics these balls when seen head on. The rocket-flyer does not realize until it is too late, impaling itself on the hunting needle pictured floating above the trees on the right. Other floating creatures include the "sausage links," the pine-balls, and more.
The large benthic organism on the extreme left is a sea taco. In the clearing on the left of the right mound is a creature not unlike a grixlifp. The worm floating above the right mound swims vertically, ready to pounce on the slightest movement below. The stalks with the tops that resemble coffee beans open and close to catch tiny planktonic organisms. I'm not sure about much else. What is the thing on the right of the left mound that looks like an everlasting gobbstopper? What is the thing at the bottom of the right mound with the narrow base? What are the things with zigzagged bubbles? What is the thing with the rings? What is the smaller thing with the rings below it? What is the floating blob?
The creature in the middle is a giant limpet-like creature called a grixlifp. that eats any and all vegetation it crawls over. The skirting around the sides is covered with a chainmail-like material and protects its soft underbelly where the mouth and feeding palps are located. The creature supports itself on the palps and skirt together. The shell above is porous and home to numerous nesting birds. Very few egg-eaters are able to climb the skirting. A few plants tolerant of high potassium and calcium levels are also known to take root in the shell.
The creature to the extreme left is the larval form of the grixlifp. The adults return to the sea once every four years to spawn. The planktonic larvae hatch and grow to one centimeter in size before crawling onto land and metamorphisizing into the adult form. The adults range from one centimeter up to twenty meters. The record holding grixlifp was measured to be 21 meters high and 45 meters long and was believed to be 300-400 years old.
These are a few of the creatures that live in the swamps of Punlitorea. The worm on the right has six eyes but rather poor vision. The peanut-shaped organ is a sophisticated pressure sensor. Its mouth is at the tip of the trunk.
The creature below also lives in the swamps of Punlitorea. It kills fish with its foreclaws and eats them. Despite its large paddle-tail it is rather slow. Through a partnership with the much faster worms, it can catch bigger and better fish and share them. The paddle scorpion climbs onto the back of the ridged worm just behind the eyes and holds on. Since it has much better vision, it guides the worm by pressing its claws into the thick hide. Sometimes it will accidentally gouge out one of the worm's eyes. Older worms often have lost all six eyes. Other paddle scorpions will often ride further down the back. When the worm overtakes a fish, the paddle scorpion attacks it with its large claws, tearing it apart into pieces small enough to share with the worm, which has a much smaller, jawless mouth. In this way, both species benefit.
These residents of the planet Snax have fatty bulges of different hues so as to identify each other. They are gregarious and form complex societies.
Hello, my name is Dan. I am an author, artist, explorer, and contemplator of subjects large and small. I like bacon. I like pizza. I like bacon pizza. I enjoy long walks on the beach, but prefer the mountains. I am a huge fan of Jesus. When I grow up, I want to be just like him and create my own universes.