Ceremonial Creature Picture

A synthetic organism fabricated for ritualistic purposes by a technologically advanced prehistoric culture, perhaps a New World branch of the lost civilization that created the Sphinx and Mandricore, or even the ancient terrestrial overculture responsible for the Nephilim and Archon. (Perhaps these two civilizations are in fact one and the same?) As purported for the mythical Atlantis, the cultural influences of this earlier civilization carried over into later human megalithic cultures—the Olmecs and Maya in Meso-/Central America, the Egyptians in North Africa, etc.

I pictured this creature as engineered with a mix of phyletic and cultural traits, though the Mesoamerican motifs were supposed to dominate. It is really a living cultural artifact, used only for ceremonial purposes. It is designed to perform certain specific behaviors when prompted, and to otherwise remain motionless for extended periods. Despite the baroque quality of its engineered stylings, the dermal ornamentation is entirely soft tissue, including the whorls, horns, ray-like spines, and "feathery" structures. I pictured the skin as thick and leathery, creased and folded into those intricate, genetically programmed patterns during embryonic development.

There are obviously countless possible variations on this theme, so I’m sure I’ll do more in the future. I’ve also had a lot of variants in mind for the head design, so I’ll probably do some "portrait bust" studies of the head alone.
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