C.O.W. #249. Fungal Beast - WIPs Thread

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    C.O.W. #249. Fungal Beast - WIPs Thread

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    ROUND #249: Fungal Beast

    topic:

    ROUND#249 - Fungal Beast

    This week will be an exploration into symbiosis and the wonderful world of fungi. Your job is to design a creature that is either: partially/wholly comprised of fungus, or is the host organism for fungal growth. Think about the environments that fungi grow in, and what that may tell about the creature. How would this symbiosis aid the creature? If the creature is partially made of fungus, think about the role that spores may play in their life cycle, perhaps that’s the creature’s primary method of reproduction. Fungus comes in all shapes and colours so it would be a good idea to get some reference so you can really get creative with your designs.

    Round Requirements:
    - The creature must be in some way comprised of, or function as host organism to, fungal growths

    - The creature’s relationship to fungi should be symbiotic (i.e. beneficial to both parties)

    - The fungus should either comprise at least 50% of the creature (or if the creature is the host for the fungus, the fungus’ total size should be at least 50% the size of the creature)


    Deadline:

    February 22nd, 9:00pm PST (GMT -8 )


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    I do like magic mushrooms

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    a few ideas popped into my head, so I whipped up a couple composition thumbs, a few silhouettes and just a quick doodle

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    A quick question to clarify the brief. So you could create one of three creatures. An animal that has a symbiotic relationship with a fungus. A beast that is partially fungus itself. And an animal that is just a fungus monster wholly.

    I'm sure about the first two but unsure about the last one as the topic revolves around symbiosis but in the brief it says "Wholly/partially comprised of fungus". So does that mean a walking fungus monster is o.k?

    Sorry to be picky but I’m planning on doing this one as part of my university course.

    Thank you

     

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    Awesome topic!

     

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    I think I want to keep mine as scientific and believable as possible.

    What I had in mind was, a tiny insectivore that lives in sub-tropical forests, with a fungus that lives inside it's tail. During the dry season, the fungus produces it's fruiting body (mushroom). It can do this because it's using moisture inside the animal, instead of relying on the rain.

    The fruiting body produces a sticky substance that attracts insects, when they feed, it paralyzes them. The animal can then eat the insects. This is very beneficial to the animal, because food is more scare during the dry season. This also allows the animal to burn fewer calories looking for food, so it can focus on reproduction.

    The fungus releases spores during this time, which fall onto the ground, and stay there until rainy season. Once it rains, the fungus produces a different kind of fruiting body that attracts the new generation of the mammal, which eat it, and the cycle starts all over again.

    The fungus lives inside the animal it's entire life, and will produce it's fruiting body every year. Because the animal can spend half of the year relatively stagnant, it has a longer lifespan than what is normal for mammals it's size, about 6-7 years.

    During the rainy season, the mammal has a crusty scab like growth on it's tail, and hunts insects on it's own.

    Now I just need to focus on what they look like. Right now they're too generic.

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    Cool. I'm in

     

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    Interesting topic!
    Concept:

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    Perlimenary Sketches

    Here are some of my first lot of sketches. I always end up skipping out the thumbnails, the creatures just grow as I doodle.

    Left Caterpillar beast: Grows vertical like a mushroom complete with hood which it molts at maturity. it then detaches itself from the root system, the side that hits the floor grows stumpy legs, the other large hard plates with the consistency of wood. Eats trees and noks many over as it forages, releases spoors which then grow on the now dead trees.

    Middle Mushroom horn: Scavenger that wonders the forest eating dead wood and corpses. The antlers are simply for show, displaying the fact that it is incredibly poisonous. Breaths through slits in its chest which permanently release mucus which also contains spoors. As it wonders through the woods it will eventual walk across the path another Mushroom horn. From this location infants will from beneath the ground. As many adults will gather around a large dead body infants will dig out of the ground beneath skeletons, locals see this mushroom monster as an omen of death.

    Metropolis: THe Metropolis wasp lives within the body of the Metropolis Fungus. Following the pheromone trail of the drones the hives queen will guid the fungus host past obstacles towards new hunting grounds. Scientists are not sure exactly sure how she does this but it is logical that pheromones and sound are involved. Her head protrudes from the chest but her abdomen remains safely within connected to the bruid chamber. The wasps kill insects and collect flesh from cadavers. However they do not eat it but leave it in special chambers to be consumed by the Fungus. The Wasps then eat thier mobile guardian who continually heals.

    This is only the second COTW I’ve done and realy enjoying myself. Goodluck everyone.

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    Sketchbook WIP

    Name:  Fungal BeastWIP.jpg
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    Here are some of my first lot of sketches. I always end up skipping out the thumbnails, the creatures just grow as I doodle.

    Left Caterpillar beast: Grows vertical like a mushroom complete with hood which it molts at maturity. it then detaches itself from the root system, the side that hits the floor grows stumpy legs, the other large hard plates with the consistency of wood. Eats trees and noks many over as it forages, releases spoors which then grow on the now dead trees.

    Middle Mushroom horn: Scavenger that wonders the forest eating dead wood and corpses. The antlers are simply for show, displaying the fact that it is incredibly poisonous. Breaths through slits in its chest which permanently release mucus which also contains spoors. As it wonders through the woods it will eventual walk across the path another Mushroom horn. From this location infants will from beneath the ground. As many adults will gather around a large dead body infants will dig out of the ground beneath skeletons, locals see this mushroom monster as an omen of death.

    Metropolis: THe Metropolis wasp lives within the body of the Metropolis Fungus. Following the pheromone trail of the drones the hives queen will guid the fungus host past obstacles towards new hunting grounds. Scientists are not sure exactly sure how she does this but it is logical that pheromones and sound are involved. Her head protrudes from the chest but her abdomen remains safely within connected to the bruid chamber. The wasps kill insects and collect flesh from cadavers. However they do not eat it but leave it in special chambers to be consumed by the Fungus. The Wasps then eat thier mobile guardian who continually heals.

    This is only the second COTW I’ve done and realy enjoying myself. Goodluck everyone.

    (sorry if this apears twice it didnt work the first time I thought.)

     

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    Oh cruel fate! My laptop just broke...again, and thus needs immediate repair. I have serious doubts that I will have the time to finish one this week. NO! It's okay...Go on without me!
    I'll just cheer from the sidelines.
    (And I already had some ideas floating around the old noggin, too.)

     

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    AlmightyPillock - To answer your question, the implication is that if your creature is entirely comprised of fungus the fungus is benefiting it in some way. Don't stress yourself out too much over the semantics.

    Check out creature designs and make some of your own:
    Creature of the Week; Creature Spot

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    This topic makes me think of the Fungi from Yuggoth. Maybe that's because I've been busy illustrating as lot of Lovecraft creatures lately.


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    Initial sketch. After some research, I can't pass up doing a bleeding tooth fungal spider. If you haven't seen bleeding tooth fungus before, check it out! Feedback appreciated!

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    I started thinking about mycellium and the complex networks they create, which have been likened unto neural networks, and I started wondering about a creature which has evolved a symbiosis with such a fungus so deeply that the mycellium has completely replaced many of the creature's vital organs, including its neural organs, its digestion, and its respiration. This is my tripodal, bi-tailed, fungal brain child. Hopefully I'll have time to work on it this week.

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    Spiralhorn: try to push the design of the mouse, don't be afraid to go a little freaky sometimes..

    striddiggio: nice initial design, try to avoid starting to early with textures, you just end up flattening the image and when rendering comes along you may end up painting over the textures and you lose some of the detail

    The AlmightyPillock: nice starting sketches, I'm liking the middle quadruped you have, push the fungal aspects a bit on the creature

    ToddBushman: The bleeding tooth fungus is definitely an interesting fungal species. Like a marshmellow with red jelly oozing out of it. Watch the design, cuz once again it looks a little uninteresting being just a spider.

    Eclectix: another beaut! can't wait too see what you do with it!

    As for me, I'm just taking a break today (I'm all painted out after the past couple of weeks) But will be resuming tomorrow. Got some ideas flowing in my head for what I can do to the piece.

    Art is not about competing against others and being better than everyone else, but it is about competing against yourself and discovering your greatest potential!

     

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  25. #17
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    I went ahead and made some tweaks. I don't think I'll keep this profile view if I decide to render this any further, though.

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    Here is my dude. I plan to have him puffing out spores while making his mating call. Being a toad means not having a large territory range, however if the female does not hear the male's call she will surely smell the spores that the wind will carry.

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    My initial idea was of an Antlike creature that uses a specific type of fungus as camuflage, while the fungus benefits from the host creature preying on its natural enemies.

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    Eclectix: Looks really interesting, I love the different fungi you've used. I would say the pose is a bit dull and also make it look off ballance

     

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    Hello from a newcomer in the COW parts

    Nice entries!

    This is my first concept, think I'm sticking with the concept but going to make a couple of more colour variations of it.

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    Fungila

    Thinking of a fungus that enables a gorilla like ape to live on despite age or injury

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    fungilla

    update

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    my WIP

    bio-fluorescent fungus growing on a chamelon like animal for attracting small insects.

    what do you think ?

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    i love the 2nd one

     

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    i think ill give this one a shot, for the weak stomachs out there do not google image fungus!

     

  40. #27
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    Another quick sketch. Working on it not being just a spider with fungus. Its eyes are on its belly because of how it eats. It punctures the fungus on its back which oozes out and falls to the ground. Insects are attracted to it and that's when the creature attacks. thoughts?

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    Too late to join this round?

    Hey all, really interested in contributing to this one. Is it ok for me to start so late? I'm on summer hols, so I can dedicate a lot of time to this.
    Havent done a cow before but been itching to for years
    Cheers,
    BamH1.

     

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    BamH1: Due date is February 22. Go for it! I'd love to see what you come up with.

     

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    So many inspiring images in this thread!

    The left amphibious creature is mostly sedentary. The rhizomorphs (rootlike structures of the fungus) cover the skin of the creature and penetrate it. It droops below the creature and its tail. The creature usually settles on a spot for a long period of time, allowing the rhizomorphs to digest the nutrition beneath the creature. The fungus feeds the creature, as it has no mouth (only two sets of nostrils on its head). When the fungus must sexually reproduce, the creature secretes its own egg into the fruiting body (umbrella structure) of the fungus, which grows only for this period, and this period is triggered by the creature's eggs becoming mature. Then the spores grow around the eggs and together they float off in a light umbrella structure, only an inch long and two inches wide.

    The right creature is of a terribly small size, and I wrote about it on the image.

    Which one intrigues you more?

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