Midgard - Garm Picture

Named after the great dog that guarded Nifleheim, the Garm is the dominant predator of the giant cave system bearing the same name. The caves of Nifleheim are hidden below the surface of Midgard, where there was once another mighty ocean that has since evaporated. The giant network of tunnels and crevices is a dark and damp environment home to unique creatures that look nothing like what you see on the desert surface. It is Midgard's equivalent of Australia.

Garms are amphibious ambush predators that remain near springs and underground rivers. Despite their bulky appearances, they are capable of quick bursts of speed for a short distance. Their hunting strategy relies mostly on staying still while hiding among boulders and delivery a single fatal bite on unsuspecting prey. The key to this succesful bite is the intense muscle power of their jaws and their saber like teeth. In all specimens observed so far, the right upper mandible overlaps the left one with a fold of skin.

Another reason why Garms stay close to water is to raise their young. The young are born limbless and with long fish like tails, like a tadpole. They feed on scraps of meat brought by the parents or on small krill like animals. As they mature, their legs develop and they can venture on land. They must revisit water regularly however as their soft skin needs to be kept damp or it will tear after a few days, even in the damp caves.

"This is one of several animals once meant for Geb7 in early development, that has since migrated to Midgard. At the time, it looked completely different, more like a low to the ground species of Dracovultus (such as the Tiger Drake). Overtime, I had to adapt it to the biology of Midgard, thus having six legs, but I still had to make it a unique cave animal that would stand out in the gallery. Overtime, it was decided to look more like a monstrous pinniped. The final design was heavily inspired by the giant Walrus from a Sinbad movie ([link]) and early sketches of explorers upon encountering the first Walrus ([link]).
This sketch was very frustrating because I never made a doodle to prepare the final design of the Garm. Not only did I have to often restart the sketch, but while trying to upload this artwork, I encountered a lot of technical difficulties with DeviantArt."

The Garm belongs to a medium "gallery" of animals that still possess eyes, while the majority of Midgard's life forms have evolved powerful heat pitts instead. That gallery includes the Rudolph, the Beach Disks and even the Midgardians. Their eyes are large, enabling them excellent eyesight in the darkness of the caves. Most animals of the gallery are very sensitive to light and can suffer intense sunburn in seconds. In return, some animals of the caves have evolved powerful bioluminescence as a defense or a weapon.

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