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Inner Space 2 by NocturnalSea Inner Space 2 by NocturnalSea
Another landscape of microbial life. I deliberately designed this one to resemble a museum diorama.
The strange, tree-like structures are tube-building Floscularia rotifers. In the understory, the "coral-bush" organisms are colonial flagellates (Hyalobryon ramosum) and the larger, solitary tube-dwellers are Stichotricha secunda. The lumpy yellow balls are testate amoebas (Pseudodifflugia gracilis), which build a hard shell out of cemented sand grains.

The giant floating "planets" are colonies of proterospongia choanoflagellates-- which may be the ancestors of sponges and, by extension, all multicellular animals.

The plesiosaur-like organisms wimming through the the middle are two species of "trunked" ciliates. The green ones are Lacrymaria olor and the blue are Dileptus anser. Both ciliate species possess a long flexible "trunk" that they snake through the sediment in search of prey. In real life, both ciliates inhabit the muddy sediment, but for this piece I used a bit of artistic license and made them into free-swimmers. On the ground below the two Dileptus is a "trunked" amoeba (Oscillosignum proboscideum) that can produce an elongated pseudopod to search for food in the same manner as the ciliates.

Go here: [link] and here: [link] to see some cool real-life videos of trunked ciliates.

To the right, the brown, cymbal-shaped "creature" is actually a mobile colony of bryozoans (Oscillosignum proboscideum). The colony's "legs" are actually highly modified zooids called "setiform avicularian mandibles".

In the bottom center of the piece, just below the Oscillosignum amoeba are three testate amoebas (Arcella vulgaris) that have an unusual method of flipping over. If an individual Arcella is knocked onto its back, it's pseudopodia cannot reach around its shell to touch the ground. To right itself, the amoeba secretes a gas bubble into one end of its shell, thus raising that end up and tilting the pseudopodia over far enough so that the organism cna grab hold of the ground and right itself.

The two odd spiny-mask looking ciliates floating through the sky in the upper left are Discomorphella pectinata.
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:iconrodlox:
Rodlox Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2014
quite cool.

the mobile bryozoans...I thought "aren't those the aliens?"
(my bad)
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:iconinkdoodler:
inkdoodler Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2014
I love the colors, the detail, and the shadows. It has depth. I almost want to become a microbe to live there - almost.
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:iconnocturnalsea:
NocturnalSea Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
That was the basic idea, actually.  I wanted the microbial world to look like a fun, intriguing place that you'd want to swim around in.  It was also supposed to resemble a little solar system, with the Volvox as the sun and the heliozoans as orbitting planets.
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:iconpeteridish:
PeteriDish Featured By Owner May 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
this is like inception XD a universe inside a universe inside a universe. it only depends on the zoom you¨re using XD
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:iconnocturnalsea:
NocturnalSea Featured By Owner May 6, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Yep, exactly. One of the things I wanted to emphasize with this and my other microscopic drawing is that single-celled organisms are just as complex as metazoans and plants. There's a whole 'nother world down there at the microscopic level.
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:iconpeteridish:
PeteriDish Featured By Owner May 7, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I know! :D And it's fascinating! Always a great eye-opener to see art like this, it's wonderful!
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:icontarturus:
Tarturus Featured By Owner May 5, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Fascinating scene.
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:iconnocturnalsea:
NocturnalSea Featured By Owner May 6, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks :)
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:iconalicevii:
AliceVII Featured By Owner May 5, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
OH MY GOD WOW
IT'S SOOOOOOOOO BEAUTIFUL
AND THE DETAILS ARE AMAZING
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:iconnocturnalsea:
NocturnalSea Featured By Owner May 6, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Heh, thanks for your enthusiasm :D
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May 5, 2013
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