This is a turtlepus, a cuttlecrab, a softshell, squidstacean...whatever suits you. It scavenges deep in the ocean, using the spiked ridge on its belly as a cutting board for chunks of meat. It manipulates food with six specialized tentacles, and walks on the rest; these can be partially retracted into the shell in case of danger.
This male has entered the shallows to breed. If the way these creatures eat is strange, the way they procreate is even stranger: after mating with a female, the male allows her to deposit her eggs inside his hollow, pinhole camera eyes. It may seem strange for the male to sacrifice his vision like this, but in fact these creatures have little use for eyes in the dark waters where they live. Indeed, the females' eyes are much smaller.
The eggs develop quickly in the warmth of the shallows, and soon the young--made yellow by droplets of buoyant oil in their bellies--stream out of the male's pupils like golden tears, drifting off to mix with the plankton. Many have described the sight of thousands of males releasing their young this way to be beautiful; strange for such an otherwise ghoulish creature. Shortly after this event, the males follow their mates back into the depths.
I noticed that most of my pieces have the subjects facing that-----> way, so I decided to switch it up (though I drew this one facing to the right). Since he's pointed opposite to the direction we read, I think it makes him look more as if he's just arrived, rather than about to set out on a journey.
Thoughts and criticism welcome
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