predatory tunicates

EVIL SOCK PUPPETS OF THE SEA

it’s time to talk about weird animals again here at bunjywunjy.tumblr.com, and today our topic is Predatory Tunicates, which are a species of evil sock puppet that lives on the sides of deep sea canyons.

wokka wokka wokka!

they function pretty much exactly like you’d think they would, behaving much like a venus flytrap. 


fish goes in, fish DOES NOT COME OUT

the Predatory Tunicate is also the only tunicate known to be carnivorous. other tunicates are content to drift in the currents like lonely plastic bags, lacking the drive and ambition of the Predatory Tunicate.


role model!

also, like most deep sea creatures, Predatory Tunicates are massively improved by the addition of googly eyes.

it’s a true science fact!

6

Last year I gave my self a quest to try and reinvent the mermaid, but I had so much fun I kept going and now my goal is to try and make 100 different mermaid designs/concepts. I kept the style simple so I could focus on shape and concept. These are what I have so far on my deviant art, I figured I’d share this with you all and add more to the site later.

Once I made all 100, I’ll be taking my top favorites and making a cartoon with them. I know for the sure the manta ray mermaid, the seahorse, and the angler are going to be in it.

Here are the lists of the mermaids: Shrimp Mermaid, Squid Mermaid Jellyfish Mermaid, Koi Mermaid, Eel Mermaid, Flying Fish Mermaid, Normal Mermaid, Narwhale Mermaid, Fantail Goldfish Mermaid, Seahorse Mermaid, and Angler Fish Mermaid. Clownfish Mermaid, Manta Ray Mermaid, Seal Mermaid, Ghost Knife Mermaid, Octopus Mermaid, Pufferfish Mermaid, Lion Fish Mermaid, Manatee Mermaid, Axolotl Mermaid, Beta Fish Mermaid, Lobster Mermaid.Whale Mermaid, Ammonite Mermaid, Cuddlefish Mermaid, Another Cuddlefish Mermaid, Bubble Eye Goldfish Mermaid. Hammerhead Shark Mermaid, Hula Skirt Siphonophore Mermaid, Plesiosaurus Mermaid, Yellow Bellied Sea Snake Mermaid, Bothriolepis Mermaid, Sea Dragon Mermaid, Triop Mermaid.Turtle Mermaid, Sea Angel Mermaid, Glaucus Atlanticus Mermaid, Algae Mermaid, Coral Mermaid, Red Seaweed mermaid, Sponge Mermaid, Sea Snail Mermaid, and Green Seaweed Mermaid.Parrot Fish mermaid, Catfish merMAN, swordfish mermaid, clam mermaid, neon fish merMAN, barreleye fish merMAN, sea urchin mermaid/man I can’t decided honestly) Hydra Mermaid, Waterfall jumping mermaid, sea slug mermaid. Predatory Tunicate Mermaid, Glass Squid Merman, Blobfish Mermaid,: Mosaic Jellyfish, Sailfish Merman, Ocean Sunfish Mermaid, Viperfish Mermaid, Vampire Squid Mermaid, Gulper Eel Mermaid, Mantis Shrimp Merman

The Bestiary: Tunicates

Most of the creatures I review tend to be molluscs, cnidarians or crabs. This is because my utter adoration with these phyla. But every once in a while I wipe the nerdy fanboy-froth from my mouth and turn my attention towards other groups.

And boy howdy is it worth it.

Tunicates (subphylum Tunicata) are some of the most bizarre shit the tree of life features, and considering the bizarre shit I’ve seen since I started running the blog, that’s saying something. For starters, Polycarpa aurata looks like a goddamn heart, and it only looks weird, it’s not on the level of batshit insanity some other tunicates are.

Just look at that lovely thing. Did I mention that it’s a closer relative of ours than insects?

Yup, it is. For looking like a prehistoric sponge’s retarded cousin, these guys are pretty innovative in some ways. Namely, they are some of the first Chordata, which means they have a notochord; pretty much the ancestral version to our spinal columns, except made of fluid-inflated cells staying in place because of the pressure they have towards one another. Basically a balloon animal spine.

Too bad they looked on their dazzling new notochord, said “fuck that” and decided to lose it and become primitive sessile or drifting Cnidarian/Poriferan knockoffs. Out of the three tunicate classes, two lose their notochords upon reaching adulthood, which is absolute bullshit. Change apparently scares them.

The first class, the Thaliacea contain the salps (Salpidae), who are reknowned for looking like jellyfish and having the most efficient jet propulsion in the entire animal kingdom with which they can fuck an octopus twice over. Also, they have a tendency to quite literally stick together side to side and traverse the oceans in colonies not unlike meters-long translucent toilet chains.

They look like one of those segmented snakelike bosses from shoot-em-up games where you have to destroy each segment separately.

See? I ain’t kidding.

The other significant members of the class are the order Pyrosoma, colonial organisms somewhat resembling siphonophores. They range from bioluminescent little trinkets,

to friggin enormous ravening worm monsters that are pretty much the final boss of the entire ocean.

Roll for initiative, bitch

Next up are the  Ascidiacea, a class of pretty chill sessile tunicates, except for the predatory tunicate (Megalodicopia hians), an animal that could be best described as Pac-Man if Toru Iwatani designed him on a particularly disturbing LSD-induced bad trip.

This thing waits around all day until something swims into its mouthlike hood, at which point it will close its mouth and digest it alive. It’s not exactly special, but considering it belongs to an entire subphylum of wimpy-ass filter feeders, it still is sort of a big deal. And holy hell does it look ghastly as all fuck.

The final class is Larvacea, the only ones who have the good sense to not throw out one of the greatest evolutionary achievements out the window when they hit adulthood. These folks keep their notochords and even most other larval features, which ironically puts them miles before their more radically changing cousins in terms of complexity. And also they slightly resemble Chestbursters.

Larvaceans are free-floaters who employ some of the most creative usage of slime that would put Portal 2 to shame if these guys ever heard of Portal 2 or had hands to play it.

This is how it goes.

Every day, they secrete shitloads of a special, sticky mucus they use to build a “house” around themselves. While this house would probably worth fuck-all in the face of a wolf trying to acquire three talking pigs, it does a mighty fine job filtering food for its inhabitant. The larvaceans’ “mucus house” is one of the most efficient filtration devices known to man, cycling seawater through several ludicrously complex filters that would cause any fluid physicist of your choice jizz their pants on the spot.

You can’t even see the larvacean in there, but I can assure you, it’s definitely inside. It’s like those evil overlords who never leave their thrones.

Overnight the filters get completely jammed with debris, forcing the larvacean to leave the house (through an emergency exit made explicitly for this purpose, no less) and create a new one from scratch.

Let me remind you that this thing is made entirely out of mucus and yet it still works. I don’t know if you ever tried to make seawater filters out of Jell-O but I can assure you that it’s damn hard. And yet this guy does it daily despite having the brain capacity of a flatworm. Have you done something productive today? No? What’s your excuse?