Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Aerial predator: Thuukta

Speed paint of an aerial predator.

The Thuukta (traditional Gapuri name) is dark in coloration, mostly black with purple hues as well as bright phosphorescent patches and chromatophores which help it communicate with other members of its species or "pod" (they are pack hunters).

They have tentacles (which are retractable) that they extend while hunting. The tentacles are lined with bright red flashing bioluminescent patches that attract its prey. Their prey, as small arrow like creature) see mainly reds and yellows and the rest of the predator remains invisible to the prey despite its rather flamboyant appearance to other animals.

The purple coloration also helps it to camouflage itself from predators at night by helping it blend in with the dark purple of the night sky. However during the day they must be extremely vigilant of larger predators.

The reason the sky appears so purple is because the moon is a remnant of a planet that used to orbit the same sun as Skatha but was hit by a massive asteroid and was more or less obliterated. Skatha stole one of the larger chunks of the dead planet by chance and it became one of its moons. The destroyed planet had a high concentration of a purple quartz-like crystal in it's crust. During full moons Skatha's surface is very bright and has a purple hue.

This happened early on in the development of Skatha, not only did Skatha steal a chunk of the planet, but it was also pelted by its debris. In certain areas of the Skathan landscape where tectonic plates have shifted and pushed the ground up large patches of the purple mineral are exposed. There are mountainous areas made up of this purple crystalline rock, it creates quite a striking landscape with some of the red foliage of the planet.

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