calling all artists!

Animals!

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shyan
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calling all artists!

Post by shyan » Thu Jul 20, 2006 4:04 am

I'm writing a sci-fi novel about the first time humans make contact with sentient alien life. the book is going to take place on the aliens home planet, one that is very similar to earth.

the main character is a biologist, and his job is to document as many species as he can while he is on this planet. i am going to write the book as if it is his journal/log book, and it is going to be full of illustrations.

heres what i need from you. i need help in designing the plants and animals that live on this planet. i already know what the sentient species will be like, so don't worry about that, but I'm kind of having a creative block when it comes to the lower life forms. if you could draw a plant or animal and describe the kind of environment it lives it (grassland, forest, ocean, etc) how it obtains its food, size, weight, life span, social structure, what ever you can think of, that would be great.

this planet is very similar to earth but these are the main differences, so please put them in mind:

the planet is bigger, so the gravity is stronger (by about 20%)
the atmosphere is denser and richer in oxygen (which the animals breathe)
the sun is the same(medium sized yellow) but a little farther away, so the average temperature is about 10 degrees(f) cooler than earth

when designing the organism, don't go crazy. i want these to be realistic, but unique. things like eyes, legs, and internal organs, temperature regulation(internal or external) and blood are thought of by the science community as things that are likely to pop up fairly regularly in the universe. my advice is to look to some of earths stranger life forms for inspiration, like, jelly fish, venus fly traps, trilobites, tapeworms, mangrove trees, whatever.

anyway, i hope to get some good feedback, and I'm posting this on some other forums as well. don't worry about not being a very good artist, i will redraw them anyway( because in the book these will be the main characters illustrations, and they need to look like they where drawn by the same person) if you really don't think you could draw it, but have some good ideas, just write out the description and ill interpret it into a drawing.

if i really like the organism you drew, it will go in the book, and i will accredit it to you in the acknowledgments or somewhere like that.

so, good luck! and thank you!

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mkwaje
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Post by mkwaje » Thu Jul 20, 2006 11:55 am

GOOD LUCK to you Shyan, I always wanted to be a novelist... *sigh...

I'm no good at drawings though... but I can probably give a bit of advice based on the descriptions of your "Earth-like" habitat.

Since oxygen is higher and the atmosphere denser (should be because of bigger planet size), there will be a lot more vegetation than animals probably. Higher gravity will encourage ground hugging varieties of plants and animals. Presence of arboreal animals would be fewer, but for your flyers, it should probably have longer wingspan, less body weight, bigger lungs. For land predators, they should have stronger legs. Maybe some symbiotic association between two hunting animals would be nice. Tracker type / killer type -- then share the spoils. Chameleon like qualities for the slow moving herbivores.

I've forgotten all about the sun!!! So the trees would have bigger leaves or should be pigmented (probabaly reddish), and can capture even the longer wavelengths of sunlight, similar to the red algae present underwater. Lower temperature would also mean that many areas will be covered with ice. Thicker animal furs would be evident and probably larger fat storage capacity.

Well, thats all I can think of atm. I'll befinitely get a copy of your book...

Good luck.

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mith
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Post by mith » Thu Jul 20, 2006 5:05 pm

Mindworms from Alpha Centauri were so cool
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
~Niebuhr

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shyan
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Post by shyan » Fri Jul 21, 2006 3:51 am

ooh..good advice mkwaje. thank you. i hope to get some ideas from other people as well.

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Post by Ulvinnen » Fri Jul 21, 2006 11:47 am

Oh this sounds exciting!! I will be very interested in reading that novel. will it be published or in the format of an e-book(selfpublished)? When do you think it will be for sale?

As for suggestions, I am not a scientist so I cant "create" a species due to the given circumstances on the planet, but what about some meat eating plants? big ones!! I think they are so cool.

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Post by SU_reptile » Sun Jul 23, 2006 8:13 pm

Hmmmm. Sort of exciting thing you are doing. But could you give a bit more details in your vision of that planet of yours. For example, wheather there are frozen poles or warmer regions or if the seas are salty or not or maybe rich in some other substrate.
You know, I can't fall asleep because thinking about how plants could be "pollinated" on that your planet. :idea: I am thinking about new ways of reproduction and new mechanisms.
That thoughts really can't give me a brake. Please, place some more details. :P

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