naamah_darling: Spotted hyena teeth. (Teeth)
This is Luna. She's a mountain lion.*

Luna 01

She's an early birthday present.

Lots more pics. )

Mountain lions are strongly sexually dimorphic; there's a big difference in size between males and females. In this case, females are smaller. She's big, noticeably above average for a female, but not into the territory of unusually large.

This is a size comparison between her and an average housecat.

Luna's 7.3" x 5.3" (185 mm x 137 mm).

The cat is 3.4" x 2.4" (87 mm x 63 mm).

I'll spare you the math, but those proportions are almost identical. The mountain lion skull looks so very much like a domestic cat skull, just scaled up and made a bit more robust around the snout and broader between the eyes.

Luna Comparison 02

See what I mean?

This isn't surprising considering they are the largest of the small cats, and aren't really "big cats" at all. They cannot roar, because they don't have a bony hyoid. Instead, they scream like unholy terrors. They also make some really silly chirping and whistling sounds. The babies make incredibly cute little noises.

Link time!

Here's a range of sounds, including the scream of a mountain lion in heat. The sixth one down is a bubbly cougar purr!

An adult whistling/chirping.

More chirping.

You gotta watch this one! Lots of big cat noises, including some really goofy cougar noises, and a cougar purr! And at 2:50, lolarious serval bworbling. And friendly tiger chuffs!

And just for fun, a video showing what kind of toys BIG cats like to play with.

Fun, yes?

Obligatory disclaimer: mountain lions are one of the more popular large cats to keep in captivity as "pets" because they are cute as hell when they're babies, and still look cuddly as adults. This is, like, a really bad idea. Don't do it unless you have a hardcore mauling fetish.

Anyway, thanks for looking, and I hope you had fun! I always do. I'm cataloging my skull collection, an ongoing project. I'm really eager to get to the part where I take pictures of everything, because there are so many I've never showed you. I got a cast of a liger skull, and I have to say, it is terrifying. It is the scariest skull I have ever seen.

Until next time!

More pics of my animal bones.

For the new, a note about bones and ethics.

* Puma, cougar, etc. I use the words interchangeably, but favor mountain lion. Whatever, it's all the same animal: Puma concolor.
naamah_darling: Sepia picture of Heath Ledger from A Knight's Tale with the words "I Miss You." (Heath Miss You)
Tazendra. The Mocus. Stinker. Pantaloons. Circus Ape. Gorilla Lips. The Creature Known As "the Mocator."

I lost her two years ago last night, and it's still like hitting that missing stair on the way down every single time.

Long before she died, I made the decision to have her bones professionally cleaned and prepared, and I made the arrangements with Skulls Unlimited some time in advance. They did a good job.

It wasn't a decision I came to lightly. I'm not a stranger to pet loss. I've had something like 25 cats in my life, and all but four of those are gone now. The one unifying thread of regret is that I have nothing of any of them but pictures. I didn't want that to be the case with her.

Now I have her bones in a box near where I sleep, where I can reach her, and that's comforting.

I've meant to get some good photographs of her for a while now, and yesterday seemed a good time. I think the results came out well, and I'm willing to let them stand for the time being as final portraits. I'm aware some people find it disturbing, which I do understand, so the squeamish among you may want to turn aside. No hard feelings.

In the meantime, a picture of her with her fur on:

Tazendra Sepia 01

Cut for kitty bones. )

But, really, this is how I remember her best:

Dey Had Teef Like Dif

I have never stopped laughing like a dumbass over that picture, and a 9x12 copy of it sits next to her box. She was beautiful, in her cockeyed goblin way, but she was also a ridiculous moldy pajama bag of a cat with a heart brim-full of loathing for all living beings save myself. She was consistently one of the best and most hilarious things in my life.

I've had a couple of people ask, over the past two years, but yes, those of you who see me IRL are welcome to visit her wee little bones anytime. I don't mind at all.

Anyway, questions welcome, if you have them. It's not a subject I'm touchy about at all, so it won't bother me.

Thank you, by the way. You guys have been lovely about it since she went, and I appreciate all the sympathy more than I can say.

I can honestly say, all of the other cats I've had were, in comparison to her, "just cats." She was something else entirely.
naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (Default)
Still not the greatest I've ever been, but I'm coping, and am feeling way better than I was.

We got some blackout shades to put up in the bedroom windows, so I've been adjusting to having less light, and now I'm sleeping much more solidly. I still feel like I'll never have a normal sleep schedule again. We both have problems sleeping fairly often, and are both sort of at the mercy of the other person's sleeping schedule because of it, so progress is slow to make and quick to disappear. (I've tried melatonin and so forth, and it has never done a damned thing, so thanks, but no advice please.) I go to bed around eight in the morning and get up around four. It's messed.

It rained today, which kept me from going outside to work on engraving another skull. I started a wolf skull last week, and it's going well. I'm nervous about fucking it up, but I'm being very careful. I have no idea who I'll sell it to; it's going to be even more expensive than the dog and coyote skulls, and nobody's biting at those. They're high price-tag items, but there's no way around that math. I'd do nothing but inked skulls because those move, but I love doing the engraving. It really is incredible.

My dream, my ultimate goal, is to do a lion skull someday. To my anguish, there's one up on eBay right now for a crazy-low current bid. I'm a long way from being that proficient, though, and I certainly cannot afford it right now. I want to get at least a dozen skulls under my belt before I try to work on something that irreplaceable and powerful.

I might be able to swing mountain lion at some point, which would also be badass.

In other news, I am teaching myself Italian using some first-rate free audio lessons and a solid beginner's textbook I snagged for cheap. I'm sick of not learning anything new besides new art techniques, which is technically challenging but not so much intellectually. I am enjoying it immensely. I spoke pretty good Spanish at one time, and took third in state my senior year of high school. Gratifyingly, the similarity between the languages has given me a foundation to build on, so I'm finding it all very familiar so far. The particular way I think connects words' and sounds' similarities so quickly that learning a language pretty close to the one I already speak and very, very close to one I sort-of spoke at one time is often no different from acquiring new words in my own language. I have a knack, and probably could have been bilingual or multilingual if I'd been able to continue classes.

Proving that I can talk myself out of anything and make myself feel bad about anything, it is really bothering me that I am not learning Spanish because 1) Spanish is a language I might have a practical use for in my day to day life, given the high number of Spanish-speaking people here, and 2) learning something else feels like "wasting" all that grounding in Spanish. I am steadfastly ignoring this, and learning Italian for very silly reasons, and I kind of think that's a better reason -- wanting to just because it's fun and new and is making me happy.

We will see how long it takes me to get bored. My attentions can be dreadfully fickle, and with nobody to practice with/on, I'm pretty sure I'll get discouraged, but I'd like to pick up at least enough to be able to travel comfortably and swear fluently. I really really wanna see Italy someday, and I don't want to tour a country where I don't speak the language well enough to find a toilet, clean water, or medical care. Aside from practical considerations, it just seems rude.

Sadly, swearing isn't something that most sources teach, and while I can find some resources online (and pick up a lot of fun stuff from Assassin's Creed II and Brotherhood) what I will eventually need is a native speaker willing to teach me how to really go off.

Ugh. It's getting light outside, which should be against the fucking law. I'm going to go to bed. And when I wake up, grinding bones, language practice, and then MMF porn! Okay. So my life doesn't totally suck. The trick is remembering that.
naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (Default)
Still not the greatest I've ever been, but I'm coping, and am feeling way better than I was.

We got some blackout shades to put up in the bedroom windows, so I've been adjusting to having less light, and now I'm sleeping much more solidly. I still feel like I'll never have a normal sleep schedule again. We both have problems sleeping fairly often, and are both sort of at the mercy of the other person's sleeping schedule because of it, so progress is slow to make and quick to disappear. (I've tried melatonin and so forth, and it has never done a damned thing, so thanks, but no advice please.) I go to bed around eight in the morning and get up around four. It's messed.

It rained today, which kept me from going outside to work on engraving another skull. I started a wolf skull last week, and it's going well. I'm nervous about fucking it up, but I'm being very careful. I have no idea who I'll sell it to; it's going to be even more expensive than the dog and coyote skulls, and nobody's biting at those. They're high price-tag items, but there's no way around that math. I'd do nothing but inked skulls because those move, but I love doing the engraving. It really is incredible.

My dream, my ultimate goal, is to do a lion skull someday. To my anguish, there's one up on eBay right now for a crazy-low current bid. I'm a long way from being that proficient, though, and I certainly cannot afford it right now. I want to get at least a dozen skulls under my belt before I try to work on something that irreplaceable and powerful.

I might be able to swing mountain lion at some point, which would also be badass.

In other news, I am teaching myself Italian using some first-rate free audio lessons and a solid beginner's textbook I snagged for cheap. I'm sick of not learning anything new besides new art techniques, which is technically challenging but not so much intellectually. I am enjoying it immensely. I spoke pretty good Spanish at one time, and took third in state my senior year of high school. Gratifyingly, the similarity between the languages has given me a foundation to build on, so I'm finding it all very familiar so far. The particular way I think connects words' and sounds' similarities so quickly that learning a language pretty close to the one I already speak and very, very close to one I sort-of spoke at one time is often no different from acquiring new words in my own language. I have a knack, and probably could have been bilingual or multilingual if I'd been able to continue classes.

Proving that I can talk myself out of anything and make myself feel bad about anything, it is really bothering me that I am not learning Spanish because 1) Spanish is a language I might have a practical use for in my day to day life, given the high number of Spanish-speaking people here, and 2) learning something else feels like "wasting" all that grounding in Spanish. I am steadfastly ignoring this, and learning Italian for very silly reasons, and I kind of think that's a better reason -- wanting to just because it's fun and new and is making me happy.

We will see how long it takes me to get bored. My attentions can be dreadfully fickle, and with nobody to practice with/on, I'm pretty sure I'll get discouraged, but I'd like to pick up at least enough to be able to travel comfortably and swear fluently. I really really wanna see Italy someday, and I don't want to tour a country where I don't speak the language well enough to find a toilet, clean water, or medical care. Aside from practical considerations, it just seems rude.

Sadly, swearing isn't something that most sources teach, and while I can find some resources online (and pick up a lot of fun stuff from Assassin's Creed II and Brotherhood) what I will eventually need is a native speaker willing to teach me how to really go off.

Ugh. It's getting light outside, which should be against the fucking law. I'm going to go to bed. And when I wake up, grinding bones, language practice, and then MMF porn! Okay. So my life doesn't totally suck. The trick is remembering that.
naamah_darling: The incisors and canines of the skull of a gray wolf. (Bones)
Not late! Wow!

So, I finished an inked coyote skull yesterday and was going to post pictures, but then I realized that I don't think I've ever posted pictures of the last one. So you get a bonus! Two for one. First, pictures of the new one, and second, pictures of the last one.

Both of these skulls are sold. At least, I'm assuming on the one I just did. If that falls through, believe me, you will hear about it!

BUT WAIT! There's more!

In the first set of pictures, you can also see the awesome box that [livejournal.com profile] songblaze sent me over the holidays. I added a padded satin lining to it, and put in some little ribbon thingies to keep the box from flopping open, which stresses the hinges. They are, in retrospect, a tiny bit short, but for a first try, they look great and work just fine. Anyway, as you can see, I LOVE this box. And when I am through with it, it too will make another appearance here. Just need to add a specimen tag for the future contents.

So, here we have lots of pictures. As usual, I'm dumping them all here. Flickr serves as my repository for all my finished, edited photographs, including boring detail shots. Which I still think are awesome.

Painted Coyote Skull II 1

The first skull, which is actually the second. )

And the second one! This one (below) I did with the intention of inking it, so the design is very fluid and complex, sometimes crossing suture lines and so forth. I penciled the design on the one above thinking I would engrave it, so I did it differently; less complex, more aligned with the natural bone structure, as engraving over sutures is not any fun for me or the skull.

Anyway, I think they are both beautiful.

Painted Coyote Skull I Full Top View

The second skull, which is, in fact, the first. )

Got one more 'yote skull I can ink or carve before I need to hit Moscow Hide and Fur. I also have a fisher and a skunk that are almost finished that I will be listing this weekend or next week.

Been kinda busy.
naamah_darling: The incisors and canines of the skull of a gray wolf. (Bones)
Not late! Wow!

So, I finished an inked coyote skull yesterday and was going to post pictures, but then I realized that I don't think I've ever posted pictures of the last one. So you get a bonus! Two for one. First, pictures of the new one, and second, pictures of the last one.

Both of these skulls are sold. At least, I'm assuming on the one I just did. If that falls through, believe me, you will hear about it!

BUT WAIT! There's more!

In the first set of pictures, you can also see the awesome box that [livejournal.com profile] songblaze sent me over the holidays. I added a padded satin lining to it, and put in some little ribbon thingies to keep the box from flopping open, which stresses the hinges. They are, in retrospect, a tiny bit short, but for a first try, they look great and work just fine. Anyway, as you can see, I LOVE this box. And when I am through with it, it too will make another appearance here. Just need to add a specimen tag for the future contents.

So, here we have lots of pictures. As usual, I'm dumping them all here. Flickr serves as my repository for all my finished, edited photographs, including boring detail shots. Which I still think are awesome.

Painted Coyote Skull II 1

The first skull, which is actually the second. )

And the second one! This one (below) I did with the intention of inking it, so the design is very fluid and complex, sometimes crossing suture lines and so forth. I penciled the design on the one above thinking I would engrave it, so I did it differently; less complex, more aligned with the natural bone structure, as engraving over sutures is not any fun for me or the skull.

Anyway, I think they are both beautiful.

Painted Coyote Skull I Full Top View

The second skull, which is, in fact, the first. )

Got one more 'yote skull I can ink or carve before I need to hit Moscow Hide and Fur. I also have a fisher and a skunk that are almost finished that I will be listing this weekend or next week.

Been kinda busy.
naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (Thane)
I'm getting ready to start a big push to list a bunch of higher-dollar items on my Etsy page, and I am starting with the carved skulls I did a while back, and have never showed you guys. This is the first one.

It's a domestic dog skull supplied by the folks at Skulls Unlimited, so it's a fine specimen. Dog skulls are a lot more expensive than you'd think, by the way.

Engraved Dog Skull 1 Top

The carving was done using a Dremel 400 with diamond engraving bits. I pencil the design out before I carve. There's a wolf skull I'm getting ready to start on, and I will be taking progress pics so that you can see the process. It's really cool.

More pics down here! )

Best of all, it's for sale!

A big thank you to [livejournal.com profile] bat_cheva, who lent me the backdrop cloth which made these pictures look so sharp.
naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (Thane)
I'm getting ready to start a big push to list a bunch of higher-dollar items on my Etsy page, and I am starting with the carved skulls I did a while back, and have never showed you guys. This is the first one.

It's a domestic dog skull supplied by the folks at Skulls Unlimited, so it's a fine specimen. Dog skulls are a lot more expensive than you'd think, by the way.

Engraved Dog Skull 1 Top

The carving was done using a Dremel 400 with diamond engraving bits. I pencil the design out before I carve. There's a wolf skull I'm getting ready to start on, and I will be taking progress pics so that you can see the process. It's really cool.

More pics down here! )

Best of all, it's for sale!

A big thank you to [livejournal.com profile] bat_cheva, who lent me the backdrop cloth which made these pictures look so sharp.
naamah_darling: The incisors and canines of the skull of a gray wolf. (Bones)
This guy is awesome. He's in the preliminary stage of getting engraved. The pencil lines are on him. These were obviously taken before that.

Bonebiter 01
He's sound with good bone structure and a nice, heavy sagittal crest. One of the better-quality skulls I have, in fact.

We will see more of what makes him unique on the tour.

This way! )

Someone always asks, so: No, I don't know what killed him. Considering he's a leftover from the fur trade, he was probably shot. It's not pretty to contemplate, but at least I will be treating him with respect.

I will be taking progress photos of the engraving as it goes along! I'm pretty excited.

He is unnamed, though I've been referring to him informally as Bonebiter. He obviously liked to chew a lot. He will be joining Thane, Arya, Brand, Grond (Thanks, [livejournal.com profile] crows_warning and [livejournal.com profile] tripleransom!) and Grendel (thanks to [livejournal.com profile] foxipher), as well as one unnamed skull, so throw your names at me in comments!

For the new, a note about bones and ethics.
naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (Thane)
This guy is awesome. He's in the preliminary stage of getting engraved. The pencil lines are on him. These were obviously taken before that.

Bonebiter 01
He's sound with good bone structure and a nice, heavy sagittal crest. One of the better-quality skulls I have, in fact.

We will see more of what makes him unique on the tour.

This way! )

Someone always asks, so: No, I don't know what killed him. Considering he's a leftover from the fur trade, he was probably shot. It's not pretty to contemplate, but at least I will be treating him with respect.

I will be taking progress photos of the engraving as it goes along! I'm pretty excited.

He is unnamed, though I've been referring to him informally as Bonebiter. He obviously liked to chew a lot. He will be joining Thane, Arya, Brand, Grond (Thanks, [livejournal.com profile] crows_warning and [livejournal.com profile] tripleransom!) and Grendel (thanks to [livejournal.com profile] foxipher), as well as one unnamed skull, so throw your names at me in comments!

For the new, a note about bones and ethics.
naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (Blood Oath)
I haven't done one of these in a while, and I have had this most of the way written up for a long time now. So here. Have some pictures of pretty pretty bones.

This guy is gorgeous. He's yellowed quite a bit since I took these pictures, but is still beautiful and just impressive as hell.

Handsome 01
This is the skull that, for lack of a better name, I've been calling Handsome. He was young, very young, but absolutely enormous. We'll get to that in a moment. For now, note the prominent sutures in the nasal bones and around the eyesockets, characteristic of a young animal.

More pics! Including wallpapers! )

Anyway. He doesn't have a name. While I am kind of digging Bran/Brand/Valbrand, I'm still taking suggestions! You all helped me name Grond (Thanks, [livejournal.com profile] crows_warning and [livejournal.com profile] tripleransom!) and Grendel (thanks to [livejournal.com profile] foxipher).

So, because I think it's really fun, I appeal to you: young, large, and handsome. What'll it be? He'll be joining Thane, Arya, Grond, Grendel, Diana, and two other unnamed skulls that I will surely be asking you for opinions about.

For the new, a note about bones and ethics.
naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (Default)
I haven't done one of these in a while, and I have had this most of the way written up for a long time now. So here. Have some pictures of pretty pretty bones.

This guy is gorgeous. He's yellowed quite a bit since I took these pictures, but is still beautiful and just impressive as hell.

Handsome 01
This is the skull that, for lack of a better name, I've been calling Handsome. He was young, very young, but absolutely enormous. We'll get to that in a moment. For now, note the prominent sutures in the nasal bones and around the eyesockets, characteristic of a young animal.

More pics! Including wallpapers! )

Anyway. He doesn't have a name. While I am kind of digging Bran/Brand/Valbrand, I'm still taking suggestions! You all helped me name Grond (Thanks, [livejournal.com profile] crows_warning and [livejournal.com profile] tripleransom!) and Grendel (thanks to [livejournal.com profile] foxipher).

So, because I think it's really fun, I appeal to you: young, large, and handsome. What'll it be? He'll be joining Thane, Arya, Grond, Grendel, Diana, and two other unnamed skulls that I will surely be asking you for opinions about.

For the new, a note about bones and ethics.
naamah_darling: The incisors and canines of the skull of a gray wolf. (Bones)
So I told you guys I would get pics of the awesome Christmas presents [livejournal.com profile] sargon999 got me. Here's one of them. A full-size cast from a Smilodon fatalis skull, complete with tarpit finish.

It's my favorite present I've gotten in a long, long time. Thank you, darling.

sabertooth 01

I'm also making you look at this picture, because it's pretty much the most excellent picture of Tazendra ever taken. Do yourself a favor and go look at it full-size. I cannot stop laughing about it. Every time I see it I go off again.

Dey Had Teef Like Dif

When asked to list her breed on paperwork, I put "lolcat."

Captions welcome.

Lots more skull and pretty kitty pics under here! )

There are lots more pictures of Tazendra at my Flickr account, so you can just click through and scroll back or forth to see those. These are the best pictures of her I've ever been able to take.

Bone Clones sells many different replicas, and while I don't think resin is much of a stand-in for the various wonderful tactile qualites of real bone, the casts of extinct beasties and endangered beasties are certainly of high enough quality to justify the price. The level of detail on this thing is astounding, down to the sinus cavities and sutures. The only reason I can tell it's a replica is because I'm really, really used to looking at real skulls. From more than a few feet away, you can't tell at all.

Anyway, that's the awesome. Hope you enjoyed!
naamah_darling: The incisors and canines of the skull of a gray wolf. (Bones)
So I told you guys I would get pics of the awesome Christmas presents [livejournal.com profile] sargon999 got me. Here's one of them. A full-size cast from a Smilodon fatalis skull, complete with tarpit finish.

It's my favorite present I've gotten in a long, long time. Thank you, darling.

sabertooth 01

I'm also making you look at this picture, because it's pretty much the most excellent picture of Tazendra ever taken. Do yourself a favor and go look at it full-size. I cannot stop laughing about it. Every time I see it I go off again.

Dey Had Teef Like Dif

When asked to list her breed on paperwork, I put "lolcat."

Captions welcome.

Lots more skull and pretty kitty pics under here! )

There are lots more pictures of Tazendra at my Flickr account, so you can just click through and scroll back or forth to see those. These are the best pictures of her I've ever been able to take.

Bone Clones sells many different replicas, and while I don't think resin is much of a stand-in for the various wonderful tactile qualites of real bone, the casts of extinct beasties and endangered beasties are certainly of high enough quality to justify the price. The level of detail on this thing is astounding, down to the sinus cavities and sutures. The only reason I can tell it's a replica is because I'm really, really used to looking at real skulls. From more than a few feet away, you can't tell at all.

Anyway, that's the awesome. Hope you enjoyed!
naamah_darling: Spotted hyena teeth. (Teeth)
I occasionally -- very occasionally -- do line art, and thought I would share one of my favorite recent pieces. It's just a quick RPG visual aid/character sketch that turned out good enough to polish up, but I like it.

I wanted to design the saber-toothed cat to end all saber-toothed cats, the ne plus ultra of raging paleofeline death, but I didn't want to incorporate any fantastical or impossible features. I wanted to take bits and pieces from real animals and combine them in the most nightmarish possible way. I merged what I thought were the most frightening properties of Smilodon populator and Smilodon fatalis, then corrected the only real lack-of-coolness I could see in the cat skulls: a lack of bone-crushing teeth. Then I made it tall enough to look a man in the eye -- the only purely unrealistic thing I did.

The result is something that, if it turned up in the fossil record, would send anyone who knows bones off to find new pants.

Smilodon atrociter

Smilodon atrociter skull, rendered in pencil with ink stippling providing a life outline. I meant to prepare comparison drawings of fatalis and populator, as a life study of the whole animal, but that hasn't happened yet.

The highly-developed meat-shearing carnassials completely occult the lower premolars. These frighteningly stout pyramidal teeth are used to shear flesh and crack bones in much the same way as a hyena's.

The thickened and wide-spread zygomatic arches and long, high sagittal crest provide more anchor space for the powerful biting muscles and compensate for the smaller flange of the lower jaw. The flange is reduced in size to permit the jaws to open wide enough to accommodate the enormous saber teeth.

Bony protrusions at the chin provide lateral stability for the jaws and help to minimize tooth breakage. The backs of the sabers are finely beaded with enamel, producing an irregular serrated edge.

The incisors are enlarged and quite sharp, unsuited to delicately stripping bones of flesh; chunks of meat and bone are simply torn off, crushed, and devoured.

S. atrociter attacks by surprise, chasing its prey down over short distances and often inflicting crippling slashes to the flanks and hind legs before it wrestles its prey to the ground. It holds the struggling animal down with its powerful forelegs and severs the great blood vessels of the neck with a single bite. If the cat misses, the prey will simply suffocate in the vise of its jaws. Like the tiger, it has also been known to simply twist its prey's head around until the neck breaks.

It sometimes hunts in family groups, when several related individuals will cooperate to take down larger prey than a single animal would attempt. It is capable of surprising speed over short distances.

No, these features never coexisted in a single animal, more's the pity. This nightmarish king of carnivorans would've been worse than the worst Smilodon that ever lived.

I had great fun designing -- and playing -- this guy. If my sculpting skills were up to it, I would totally make myself a scale model.
naamah_darling: Spotted hyena teeth. (Teeth)
I occasionally -- very occasionally -- do line art, and thought I would share one of my favorite recent pieces. It's just a quick RPG visual aid/character sketch that turned out good enough to polish up, but I like it.

I wanted to design the saber-toothed cat to end all saber-toothed cats, the ne plus ultra of raging paleofeline death, but I didn't want to incorporate any fantastical or impossible features. I wanted to take bits and pieces from real animals and combine them in the most nightmarish possible way. I merged what I thought were the most frightening properties of Smilodon populator and Smilodon fatalis, then corrected the only real lack-of-coolness I could see in the cat skulls: a lack of bone-crushing teeth. Then I made it tall enough to look a man in the eye -- the only purely unrealistic thing I did.

The result is something that, if it turned up in the fossil record, would send anyone who knows bones off to find new pants.

Smilodon atrociter

Smilodon atrociter skull, rendered in pencil with ink stippling providing a life outline. I meant to prepare comparison drawings of fatalis and populator, as a life study of the whole animal, but that hasn't happened yet.

The highly-developed meat-shearing carnassials completely occult the lower premolars. These frighteningly stout pyramidal teeth are used to shear flesh and crack bones in much the same way as a hyena's.

The thickened and wide-spread zygomatic arches and long, high sagittal crest provide more anchor space for the powerful biting muscles and compensate for the smaller flange of the lower jaw. The flange is reduced in size to permit the jaws to open wide enough to accommodate the enormous saber teeth.

Bony protrusions at the chin provide lateral stability for the jaws and help to minimize tooth breakage. The backs of the sabers are finely beaded with enamel, producing an irregular serrated edge.

The incisors are enlarged and quite sharp, unsuited to delicately stripping bones of flesh; chunks of meat and bone are simply torn off, crushed, and devoured.

S. atrociter attacks by surprise, chasing its prey down over short distances and often inflicting crippling slashes to the flanks and hind legs before it wrestles its prey to the ground. It holds the struggling animal down with its powerful forelegs and severs the great blood vessels of the neck with a single bite. If the cat misses, the prey will simply suffocate in the vise of its jaws. Like the tiger, it has also been known to simply twist its prey's head around until the neck breaks.

It sometimes hunts in family groups, when several related individuals will cooperate to take down larger prey than a single animal would attempt. It is capable of surprising speed over short distances.

No, these features never coexisted in a single animal, more's the pity. This nightmarish king of carnivorans would've been worse than the worst Smilodon that ever lived.

I had great fun designing -- and playing -- this guy. If my sculpting skills were up to it, I would totally make myself a scale model.
naamah_darling: Spotted hyena teeth. (Teeth)
I don't think I've posted these. I think they just made it onto Flickr, but I got busy moving and forgot to share. My bad. I'm still working on the Etsy update, but in the meantime, here, have some bones.

This is the skull of a good-sized adult male wolverine.

Wolverine Skull 04
All business, every millimeter. I am grateful, looking at this picture, that wolverines are not really all that big. If something the size of a bear had jaws like that . . . I am pretty sure I would die of awesome, actually, before it could bite my arms off.

Moving on to the rest of the skull. )

This skull was prepared by Martin, who prepared several of my wolf skulls including Thane, Grendel, and Diana.
naamah_darling: Spotted hyena teeth. (Teeth)
I don't think I've posted these. I think they just made it onto Flickr, but I got busy moving and forgot to share. My bad. I'm still working on the Etsy update, but in the meantime, here, have some bones.

This is the skull of a good-sized adult male wolverine.

Wolverine Skull 04
All business, every millimeter. I am grateful, looking at this picture, that wolverines are not really all that big. If something the size of a bear had jaws like that . . . I am pretty sure I would die of awesome, actually, before it could bite my arms off.

Moving on to the rest of the skull. )

This skull was prepared by Martin, who prepared several of my wolf skulls including Thane, Grendel, and Diana.
naamah_darling: Spotted hyena teeth. (Teeth)
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] farrandy and [livejournal.com profile] bat_cheva, I can has dead possum in a bukkit.

OMG ceiling cat is watching me macerate!
naamah_darling: Spotted hyena teeth. (Teeth)
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] farrandy and [livejournal.com profile] bat_cheva, I can has dead possum in a bukkit.

OMG ceiling cat is watching me macerate!

Profile

naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (Default)
naamah_darling

July 2017

S M T W T F S
      1
2345678
910 1112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031     

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Jul. 23rd, 2017 02:51 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios