Monsters and Mayhem Picture

There is A LOT going on here. Let's start at top left and work our way down.

What the Hell is that thing? Head as big as the human's torso, forward-facing eyes under small bony horns, a mane of scraggly hair-like feathers, tiny little arms on the chest, huge powerful legs for kick-swimming action, and a rudder-shaped tail whose outlines are hydrodynamically smoothed by modified feathers.... surprise! It's a seagoing descendent of _Tyrannosaurus_! And this isn't even supposed to be from some alternate world - this is an idea I've had for a very long time, that the puzzling set of features found in short-armed theropods are actually part of a suite of adaptations to a crocodile-like lifestyle. I have a much more detailed treatment of _Carnotaurus_ portrayed in the same manner, which I'll be uploading eventually. This dude is meant to be a potential explanation for the "classic sea-serpent" sightings, reconciling their apparently reptilian nature with the presence of a "mane". It was the discovery of _Yutyrannus_ which prompted me to dredge this idea back up from the depths of my subconscious, specifically because of the "mane" issue. Let's say that this animal belongs to the genus _Cadborosaurus_, because good ol' Caddy fits the description nicely - reptilian head with big round staring eyes, fluffy mane down the back of the head and neck, inconscpicuous front flippers (if there are any) and a powerful "finned" tail. Many lake monsters from around the world are described as having tiny front legs and huge back legs, the Storsjoodjuret of Sweden being the one whose description initially gave me the idea in the first place. I'll be shoehorning this idea into as many places as I can in the coming time-increments.

Below the _Cadborosaurus_ and across the space-filling labyrinth you will see another large aquatic monster, this one clearly fantastical as it has two pairs of eyes. It's a being from the same deeply-branched universe as the Spiny Duck-Billed Terror [link] and its kin, part of a line of flying "vertebrates" which passed through a penguinoid phase of development before giving rise to various large fully aquatic creatures. This animal shares an additional trait with the duck-billed terror - it is used in "macroscopic biological warfare", the idea being that one of these puppies dropped into every large lake or river within a nation would be enough to severely lower that nations population! In my fiction, these animals are present on Earth in small numbers - unmodified "natural" populations existed during the Ice Age, but the technological civilizations of the time rooted most of them out and slapped them into captivity, where their lineages ended when the civilizations collapsed with the melting of the glaciers; individuals who were modified by certain intelligent agencies (not Human ones though, heh) can still be found today, their bodies altered so that they derive their nutrition from bacterial symbiotes and their behaviour strictly programmed so that they serve as gigantic cost-effective guardians for "special" places. There's one guarding deepwater caves off the Hawaiian Islands, another in the Scottish Highlands (where it gave rise to the mythological being called "beithir", which was my inspiration for the design), and one right here in my beloved Okanagan Lake (which I'm preparing to go languish on the shores of for the next several hours!) which is known to the public as "the Ogopogo". In reality, I'm almost 100% certain that the Ogopogo was a story cooked up by Natives to try and scare early colonists away from this valley, but for fictional purposes it's fucking WICKED to have a lake monster legend right here in my back yard. And before you ask - yes, it has a double row of teeth, that's not just a failed attempt at showing the teeth on the other side of its mouth those are a second row behind the first row.

Finally, the bottom of this drawing is crawling with parasites! Several of these were attempts at realizing an idea I've had for years - an internal parasite which descends from vertebrate ancestors. Both the solitary parasite to the left of the beithir and the two minimalist "flatworms" amongst the swarm are meant to be distant descendents of a bird of some sort (for simplicity's sake lets say their ultimate ancestor was the common pigeon), with the "flatworm" designs representing the most heavily degenerate forms. Basically I'm picturing them as big loose sacks mostly derived from fetal mesenteries and immature ovarian tissue, with the entire inside of the sack lined with eggs; within the degenerate remnant of the head, several of the hormone producing glands from the birds brain have merged together with reproductive tissues to form a "testicle" which continuously fertilizes the trailing egg-sack. The "eye" visible on both of these forms is indeed the remnant of the true eyes of their ancestors, but they've been modified into statoblasts - balance organs, essentially - which allow the animal to keep itself oriented properly in the flow of intestinal contents. Basically, the vitreous humour has become a more fluid gelatinous substance while the iris has disappeared completely, with the lens now being a free-floating particle inside the jelly chamber; the retina has lost light sensitivity so that now the nerves serve a tactile purpose, being quiet while the lens is resting on top of them but transmitting signals throughout the animals extremely simple nervous system the moment that the lens shifts position. This way, the parasite will "know" if it has been jostled out of its effective feeding posture ("head" forwards, nutrient-absorbing egg sack trailing behind to take advantage of the downwards flow of liquid through its intestinal home). Other than those little guys, none of the parasites here have any stories behind them - they were just fun to draw.

Yeah, I guess that's it. Lots and lots of heady ideas buried within one simplistic childish crap-drawing. More on the "marine theropod" concept after I've uploaded the _Carnotaurus_ sketch! (Note From The Future: here [link] it is, in all its inaccurate glory)
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