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February 17, 2009
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Caranoctian canids by Viergacht Caranoctian canids by Viergacht
Rough sketches with quick color blocked in.


Once a flourishing family, canids were heavily hit by engineered plagues at the end of the human era. Only an isolated population in the Sierra Nevadas managed to squeak through. As their descendants trickled back northwards into Caranoctia, they faced heavy competition from ripper raccoons and other highly intelligent, adaptable carnivores. The coyote-forms survived by exploiting niches, but there are only three true canids left in the new world.

HURLHOUND
Other colloquial name(s): Herding dog
Genus & species: Canis fugit
Meaning of: Dog who drives away
Ancestral creature: Coyote Canis latrans

Tall, lean and sinewy, hurlhounds resemble greyhounds in sandy coyote-fur coats. What makes the hurlhound unique is its symbiotic relationship with the underminer, a descendant of badgers. This partner is in existence in the present, but while the species cooperate, they aren’t dependant on one another the way underminers and hurlhounds are.

A hunt begins with the underminer, or sapper badger, digging a network of tunnels near to the surface. Then the pack of hurlhounds harasses a herd of prey animals until they stampede, running alongside them to guide them toward the trap. As the panicked herd approaches, the badger retreats to a reinforced chamber a safe distance away. Under the pounding hooves or paws of the herd, the network of tunnels collapse. Herd animals are tripped - big animals especially run the risk of breaking a leg, and those that go down may be trampled by the rest of the herd behind them. As the herd passes, the underminer surges from its bunker tunnel and finishes off the prey. The panting hurlhounds trot up and take their share, preferring the soft parts while the underminer tackles the tougher muscles and cracks bones for marrow.

Alone, the animals would have a much harder time. The underminer’s technique only works because the herd animals aren’t watching where they’re going and are being driven towards it. Unlike an ant lion, the underminer can’t just wait for a beast to stumble into its trap. As for the hurlhound, it is too lightly built to kill large animals on its own, and faces fierce competition from other plains hunters like the red lateovex and litah.


BEACH ZORRO
Genus & species: Canis scarabaevorous
Meaning of: Dog, beetle-eating
Ancestral creature: Coyote Canis latrans

A graceful, shy little animal, the beach zorro exists only on Isla California, where it has specialized in crunching up the many varieties of indigenous flightless beetles and other small invertebrates. It isn’t above snatching up small coconut crabs or newly hatched iguanas, but its jaws are too delicate and its teeth too small to tackle larger prey. The gold and orange coat camouflages it effectively on the sun-dappled forest floor. Zorros are generally solitary, with the females yipping to attract males once or twice a year. Kits are born in litters of 2-4 and stay with the mother for eight moths before dispersing.

XOTZCOYOTL
Other colloquial name(s): Death dog
Genus & species: Canis xotzcoyotl
Meaning of: Dog, the death god’s barking dog
Ancestral creature: Coyote Canis latrans

Technically, the xotzcoyotl is a native of Xbalanque (South America), but they were brought over by aughwar colonists and have established a few small breeding populations.

Xotzcoyotl are slow moving, bearlike animals with short, thick limbs, barrel chests and a long, heavily boned head with bone-cracking jaws. The dark coat, shaggy mane the color of dried blood and skull-white face give them a threatening, morbid appearance that quite fits their lifestyle. Xotzcoyotl will hunt if they have to, taking prey in a brief, clumsy rush from concealment, but they really prefer to drive other predators from their rightful kills. Likely the xotz became so huge because they are up against aggressive killers like saber-toothed hogs.
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:iconandrewlyle:
AndrewLyle Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2013
is good
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:iconguyverman:
Guyverman Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2010
What's Caranotia?
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:iconviergacht:
Viergacht Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2010  Professional General Artist
It's a world I made up.
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:iconpousazpower:
PousazPower Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2009
I had an idea for Gossipiboma similar to the relationship between the Hurlhound and the Underminer, although it's a single predator (I got the idea after I nearly broke my ankle after stepping in a ground squirrel hole :D). Great minds think alike!
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:iconviergacht:
Viergacht Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2009  Professional General Artist
Groovy! I'm ripping off nature - I saw a docu with coyotes and badgers covering ground squirrel or prairie dog holes, the badgers digging and the coyotes keeping an eye on the escape routes. It seemed haphard but something that could easily evolve into a more dependant relationship. And yeah, I used to get tripped by gopher holes too, all the time when I lived in upstate NY. You really had to be careful when horseback riding. Hopefully the gophers never organize against us.
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:iconpousazpower:
PousazPower Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2009
My idea was that the predator could chase a bunch of unguloherps towards the holes it's just dug, but then the fact that animals with large digging claws aren't particularly good at chasing large herds kind of spoiled that. Should they dig with spade-like snouts? Sexual dimorphism?
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:iconviergacht:
Viergacht Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2009  Professional General Artist
Either one of those could work, although I would go for sexual dimorphism. You could use something like pigs, where the males already have bigger tusks. They could have a structure like lions, where the females do the active hunting and the males do the digging.
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:iconazes13:
Azes13 Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That hurlhound/underminer idea is good. I applaud your creativity.
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:iconchimpeetah:
Chimpeetah Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2009
Those are sick ! I love 'em so much, in actuality my scanvenging/coastal dogs have similar appearances. Hope you don't think I copied :D
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:iconviergacht:
Viergacht Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2009  Professional General Artist
You copier, I'm gonna go spam the spec boards and create sockpuppets to harrass you! *shakes fist in your general direction*

Heh.

Yeah, people don't seem to get the distinction between "We start with the same basic set of animals, and when they do similar things, they're going to look similar" and exactly copying something like Metazoica's things and then claiming it's your own original invention. Hell, I just found out the Snaiad critters have bubble wrap skin, which I'd come up with independantly for the Nna because it was the only way I could think of for a furless animal to retain heat. There seems to be several people working on these sort of posthuman ecologies so repetition is inevitable. It doesn't bother me, especially if someone wanted to use one of my critters and asked first. Anyways, these are just the normal animals, they're more of a sideshow to the main stuff.
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