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Submitted on
January 11, 2012
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1.2 MB


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Jellyback Diagram by Eclectixx Jellyback Diagram by Eclectixx
The jellyback is a tall creature which feeds on the high fruits of certain trees. Once the creature reaches maturity it produces egg cysts within the large sac on its back. These eggs are very small, hard, and numerous. The timing of this is correlated with symbiotic flying creatures' breeding patterns. Once the flying creatures begin their courtship, the jellybacks begin a transformation. Toxins usually stored in their sacs become neutralized; in the process the sacs turn a bright red color as the creatures' limbs stiffen. The jellybacks die in this process, retaining a rigid standing position, and using the red color of the jellybacks' sacs as a signal that it is time, the symbiotic flying creatures tear into the sacs and feast on the mass stored therein. These nutrient-rich tissues and fluids give the flying creatures the energy they need to produce their young. The jellyback's egg cysts are also consumed incidentally, but are not harmed by the flying creatures' digestive processes; in fact the process is essential to allow them to hatch. The egg cysts are later deposited by the flying creatures as they excrete them far and wide. The cysts then hatch and, using the nutrients from the flying creatures' droppings, begin the first stage in their life cycle. The dead jellybacks' bodies can remain fixed in a standing position for years, providing structures for the flying creatures to build safe nests high above the plains.

To see the jellyback in its natural habitat see this illustration:[link]
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Sousays Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
The detail and story behind the character. The amazing bio of every piece and limb. This screams character design!
Tawadi Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow, this guy is really neat. I love the thought put into it.
One thing that stands out to me though is that seems like a really small heart for a really big animal.
I love its little feets though :3
SCdeluxe Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2014
That's one big bug. Nice!
Bracey100 Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Very nice design work here!
methowwolf Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
EEEEEKKK! (faints)
PathosGlasbeard Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
In the beginning I wasn't quite sure about the head's unusual position and the seemingly unnecessarily long legs. But when you understand the reproductive strategy, it makes sense. However a head on top of the body would seem logical as well... anyway, I really like the concept! You have thought through all the details, and this unusual positioned head makes it so much more alien. I love it! I'm looking forward to see more from you.
Rurrrb Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2013  Hobbyist
Pretty awesome concept. All I'm wondering is how slow it reacts to visual stimuli with its eyes that far from its brain.
Eclectixx Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2013  Professional General Artist
Thanks! That's why it has a secondary brain near the eyes to process visual input. If sensory cues trigger a fight-or-flight response, this reflex bypasses the primary brain. Otherwise the processed visual signals are relayed to the primary brain where the appropriate reactions may be controlled in more complexity. Sort of like how we respond to touching a hot stove by jerking away; the signal does not go all the way to our brain. For speed, this sort of autonomic reflex is controlled at the spinal level.
Rurrrb Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2013  Hobbyist
Ah ok that makes sense.
Grumbleputty Featured By Owner May 23, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
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