Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Edibles

Edibles from Skatha, the Gapuri are big fans of fruit and arthropods.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

An example of another form of Gapuran travel! Hopping!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Warm up doodle of Soluth, wanted to work on lighting. Not a ton of info for this one, but I'm moving into  developing some more species now!


Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Jaku's jaws evolved in a peculiar manner, unlike many Skathan creatures it not only has the split set of "jaws" but it also has a lower jaw. It's upper jaw however has become very reduced to accomodate the large set of split mandibles that take up a good portion of the head. The Jaku is bipedal, running on it's "front legs", which have evolved to become it's only legs. The mid set of legs has reduced to nothing more than colorful spurs on the sides of the body (not shown in picture). The back legs followed a similar route, though more of them is left over, two larger spurs are folded against the tail. 

The Jaku is a fierce predator that lives in the shadow of the canopy of Tolaa stalks (more information on these later), it's general body color is dark, allowing it to blend in easily with the dark stalks of the Tolaa and other organisms. The biolights along it's sides and jaws are used in camouflage as well as in mating displays.



Marine vertebrates

The seas of Skatha are home to an abundant amount of life, large and small, docile and dangerous. These are some drawings of a few species of larger vertebrates. We'll start with the hunters:


These are large cetacean like animals that are the predominantly open ocean hunters, with the  exception of a few of the smaller individuals who also hunt in shallow seas near land. They are all site based hunters and though they often patrol areas of deep waters they stay close to the sunlight where they can more easily see their prey. The larger animals (the largest grey and smaller dark grey one) will often prey on smaller "cousins" if they happen to share a similar range. 

The range of the hunters almost always overlaps with the wide range of the large filter feeders:
The filter feeders have a very large range and will often cross paths. However they rarely have competition as they generally feed on different food sources. These animals are larger than most the hunters pictured above, and don't need to worry about predation once they are adults, however there are other threats to them that come from other species (I will get into this later).

Another animal is a type of "gulp feeder," which swallows its prey whole in a, well, gulping fashion. It is a relative of the filter feeders seen above. 


Saturday, March 31, 2012

Ra'akta


The Ra’akta is a large marine predator, growing up to 10-11 meters (about 35 feet) in length and can weigh up to 10 tons. They are fast, sight based predators the use mainly pectoral fins for locomotion. They have the characteristic split lower “jaw” of most Skathan animals. Their heads are plated with a bone like armor. The olfactory tendrils have evolved to have a much more deadly use, despite looking smooth they have tiny barbs that help grasp prey while eating, however their tendrils are not used for hunting like other, smaller predators. Tendrils are usually retracted.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Swamps of Skatha


In the swamps of Skatha huge coral like fungi sprout up through often salty water, their huge root like structures lifting up through the water, creating a vast network of bridge like pathways on which many different organisms travel. Perched on the largest root we see Kathuu, a swamp fisherman, enjoying a nap in the humid warmth. Despite the calm look of the swamp, the water can prove to be a much more dangerous place. Concealed under the algae and plant matter are a number of different predators, ready to snatch up any unfortunate creature.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

North Skathan Forest and Yaluup


Here we see Yaluup, a Northern Gapuri, perched on the branch of a large Bulb Fungus. The Bulb Fungus have glowing spore bulbs that attract insects and other small animals to them. The bulbs have a reservoir of a sweet nectar like liquid in the base, while the insides of the bulbs are line with hundreds of thousands of spores. When an animal reaches in for the nectar they are covered with hundreds of spores which they then disperse throughout the underbrush.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Gapuri language


Translating a simple sentence from the Gapuri language to English.

"I need to go to the market"
First person singular (I/me) = Jo (it would translate to "me" rather than "I." "Me go to store" "me have fish" etc)

Have ("have" wouldn't actually make sense in their language, "have" as in to have something or possess it would not make sense when referring to the need to go to a place. They use a word that specifically means "to need to go [somewhere]") 

"To need to go somewhere = Hogkah (infinitive form)

"Hogkah Jo Kruuko"
("Need to go I market" is what it sounds like directly translated to English)

Here are the personal pronouns:
Singular:
Jo (I/me)
Jchahk (you)
Jeh (he/she, him/her)
Jyeher (him/herself)

Plural:
Joth (we/us)
Jchahkes (you plural)
Jeth (they) Jethe (them, themselves) Jethe (their = them's "that's their ball"="that's them's ball")

Hogkah (to need to go [somewhere]) conjugation:
(I need) Hogkah Jo                (We need) Hogskath Jot
(You need) Hogkah Jchahk   (you plural need) Hogkah Jchahkes
(he/she needs) Hogskah Jeh   (they need) Hogka Jeth

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Northern Gapuri and genderless pronouns


Had a chance to get some painting in tonight, so I did a quick speed paint of a Gapuri. A Northern one to be specific, they are darker in complexion than their Eastern relatives. 


The flora is interesting up north as well, dark trunks of plants are offset by their bright orange seed pods. This guy is about 50, and adult in their prime (in Human years jeh'd be about 30). 


Also a bit of explanation on "jeh'd"...Since the Gapuri do not have two separate genders they do not have "he" and "she" when referring to individuals, and when we speak about them we do not use gender specific titles like that. They have a word that sounds to the human ear like "Jeh." Jeh is what they use the way we use "he" or "she." "She went to the store" is "Jeh went to the store." I used "jeh" in conjunction with "would" above, "jeh'd" isn't used in the Gapuri's language, as "would" is not a word. I simply combined it with an english word. 
He/she = Jeh
Him/her = Jyeher (sounds like jayer with a soft "j" sound)




Monday, February 13, 2012

Suutaow [Skathan Herbivore]



Here we have a large herbivore who lives in the swamps of the eastern hemisphere of Skatha. Like many herbivores of Skatha, the Suutaow (Sue-tau) supports its torso with four boneless, stocky "tentacles." The Suutaow also have the characteristic mandibles which is a widespread jaw plan for nearly all Skathan vertebrates.

The large sack on the snout is not the nostrils of the Suutaow, it is in fact an air bladder that can be filled with air, causing a brightly colored membrane to flare out in a bubble like fashion. This, combined with a loud guttural below, makes up the mating display.

And please ignore any blatant spelling or grammar errors, I am very tired but really wanted to get something posted.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Floating Jaws

For many of the creatures of Skatha "floating" jaws are common. The term "floating" refers to how the jaws are not attached to the skull by bones or joints, but by muscles and tendons. They swing out to the side, rather than up and down like vertebrate Terran lifeforms. The floating jaws are highly flexible and in some species cases used to delicately manipulate objects (such as nest building, preening, or pulling prey from crevices).

In most cases the floating jaws attach along a boney wedge on the underside of the skull as well as to small scapula like bones that sit on either side of the neck spine. This allows the jaws to have a wider range of motion and finesse.

The types of floating jaws seen on Skatha vary greatly in size, shape, and use. The appearance and purposes of the jaws depend greatly on the diet of the animal as well as its habitat. For many larger grazers the jaws are large and wide at the tips, allowing the animal to pull more vegetation into its mouth. The grazers' jaws are often flexible and jointed, this lets the grazer flip large jarfuls of plant matter into its pouch like mouth.

Predatory jaws are often stiffer than the herbivores' as there is much more stress put on them during a hunt. In many actively hunting predators the joints in jaws are fused and can only swing open and shut. The jaws are still flexible at the base, but if they were to have the loose jointed anatomy of the herbivores it would be much easier to snap off a jaw or render one useless. To further avoid the issue of broken or dislocated mandibles, most land predators have evolved to have much shorter, stockier jaws. This also gives them a stronger, more formidable bite.

[ I will post information on the jaws of the more specialized animals of Skatha once I have some detailed diagrams to go along with them, I find that pure information is hard to visualize at times ]

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Koluup or Skathan giant glow worm


The Koluup is a large cave dwelling predator. Hanging from the walls and ceilings of the caves it will lower long sticky strands of mucus to snag passing animals. The mucus contains a large amount of bioluminescent bacteria. Each strand that is laid by the Koluup is attached to its body and monitored by highly sensitive hairs. The Koluup has two large bioluminescent patches on either end of the body as well as a lateral line that runs down its side. The Koluup possesses two mouths, one (located on the head) is specifically used for ingesting used strands of bioluminescent mucus, the other (located on the neck) contains a toxic venom that paralyzes prey snared in its mucus strands. This mouth also digests the prey. Each mouth goes to a separate set of organs, while the “arm mouth” goes to the stomach, the head mouth goes to an organ that recycles the bioluminescent bacteria within the mucus. 


The giant glow worm or cave worm is not just a random animal figure in the Skathan landscape, it holds an important spot in the Gapuri way of life, economy, and livelihood. 


The Koluup is a relatively exclusive gift to one or two towns that are near the caves they reside in. Since they require large damp caverns to survive they are not particularly common. The Gapuri have developed somewhat of a symbiotic relationshop with the Koluup. A group of Gapuri will venture into a cave to harvest the thick glowing mucus strands that the Koluup hang from the ceiling. In order to avoid the quick moving, long, venom tipped "arm mouth" of the Koluup, the team will split up, one takes a piece of prey an attaches it to a mucus strand that is attached near the head of the worm while the others snip off huge gobs of the mucus strands near the rear of the animal. If the procedure is done wrong lives can be lost.


The caves are maintained and the Koluups kept healthy to ensure a plentiful supply of the glow mucus.


Since the Gapuri's political system is still recuperating from the early collapse and many Gapuri are living in poor, nomadic and sometimes even tribal conditions the economy is based off of exclusively large group of merchants and trade routes.


Most Gapuri towns that you will encounter are based off creating, maintaining, harvesting or hunting some sort of good that is relatively specific to their area. Merchants from towns that are close by will often join forces and create a super group of merchants. They will employ members of the town to help harvest and distribute goods to other areas that do not have access to them. The ghostly blue Koluup glow mucus is a necessity for the Gapuri as they use it to light their homes, lanterns and streets during the night.