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Predator & Prey: Battle of the Leviathans
First installment in the Predator & Prey series.
About this creation
For higher resolution images please check my flickr


One of the most fascinating forms of predation in the natural world has never been seen by man but is often depicted in art. The contest of survival between the Sperm Whale (Physeter macrocephalus) and one of its favorite preys the Giant Squid (Architeuthis dux) has long been of interest to me.


In the inky blackness a Giant Squid propels itself along by expelling water through its funnel at the base of its mantle in a form of jet propulsion. The undulating fins at the top of her mantle allow for quick course corrections as she searches for prey

The Squid is among the largest of her kind. Her mantle is 7 ½ feet long. She measures almost 16 feet from the tip of her fins to the ends of her 8 powerful arms. Her long feeding tentacles provide incredible reach to capture prey and bring her total length to an astounding 42 feet. For all her immense dimensions the giant cephalopod weighs a mere 600lbs.


Near the surface a bull Sperm Whale begins a dive in search of squid. He is 15years old and travels with a small pod of males. At 40 feet in length and 19 tons in weight he is modest in size and will continue to grow until the age of 50. Mature bulls are typically 50-60 feet long and 45 tons.


His massive head constitutes 25% of his length and his long slender lower jaw carries 40 conical teeth 8 inches long. He sends out powerful sonar blasts to scan the depths for prey constituting the loudest sounds in the animal kingdom. He is a true apex predator and fears no animal in the sea save man.


As his massive tail flukes drive him deeper into the abyss his lungs collapse completely under the extreme pressures. Blood comprises 1/3 of his body weight and the high density of red blood cells transport oxygen to the critical organs including the largest brain in the natural world.


In the darkness the Giant squid surges forward catapulting its long feeding tentacles aggressively at a deep-sea fish. The ammonium ion waste buildup in her tissues gives her neutral buoyancy allowing her to feed leisurely without danger of sinking.

A sonic pulse temporarily stuns the squid and alerts her to the approaching danger. The young bull miscalculates his first strike and the Giant Squid turns aggressively to meet him climbing onto his head. Her tentacle clubs viciously tear at his skin with many suction cups ringed with teeth like a hole saw. She begins to bite at her nemesis with a 2-inch parrot like beak as well.


In the faltering light of many tiny bioluminescent creatures the Giant Squids 10 inch eyes discern the overwhelming size and power of her adversary and she turns to flee. Sucking water into her mantle she prepares to jet away on a wave of muscle contraction.


As the Giant Squid jets away the young Sperm whale readjusts its angle of attack and his lower jaw clamps down on a feeding tentacle and an arm capturing the cephalopod in a deadly grip. The battle of the leviathans rages on as survival begins to fade for the great invertebrate.


This project has been in the works for quite a while. The Giant Squid was developed while I worked on The Omicron Weekend in early 2007 and no underwater scenes appeared in the final version to incorporate it. Always in the back of my head I wanted to build a Sperm Whale to tangle with it. An aborted underwater project, The Lord Mandrake Memorial Sea Tower, with Keith Goldman and Jon Palmer finally gave me the opportunity to start building one. With many starts and stops along the way as is typical of my work I finally finished this vignette. I’d like to personally thank Keith Goldman, Breann Sledge, Michael Rutherford, and Ley Ward for acting as a sounding board throughout the project. And Keith and Breann for providing some key parts.






Comments

 I like it 
  August 11, 2013
And to think battles such as this happen all the time.
 I like it 
  January 1, 2012
Simply amazing.
 I like it 
  May 7, 2011
This is epic! Magnificient!
 I like it 
  January 25, 2011
Everybody told it but for me,this dio is one of the most beautiful built of the century.... I'm serious, you totaly give an other way of thinking about this game called lego !!! I'm jealous of your talent !!!
 I like it 
  January 25, 2011
Everybody told it but for me,this dio is one of the most beautiful built of the century.... I'm serious, you totaly give an other way of thinking about this game called lego !!! I'm jealous of your talent !!!
 I like it 
  January 24, 2011
well i saw this on the home page and had to give it a coment good work
 I made it 
  January 24, 2011
I'd like to thank everyone for commenting today. It's nice to see this on Moc of the Day. And, yes Chief Andreas, Giant Squids have eight arms and two feeding tentacles and so does the model. It's just most photo angles don't show all of them simultaneously. You can see all of them in the shot of the squid coming straight at the camera, though you can only see the tip of the eighth arm near the twelve 'o clock position.
 I like it 
  January 24, 2011
The creatures have very life-like shapes.
 I like it 
  January 24, 2011
Nice whale!
 I like it 
  January 24, 2011
Best moc ever!
 I like it 
  January 24, 2011
Best LEGO squid I've ever seen! Very realistic. The sperm whale is neat, too.
 I like it 
  January 24, 2011
Wow! I love the details and techniques on the whale!
 I like it 
  January 24, 2011
Not a single word in the english language can describe this!
  January 24, 2011
So awesome I could never make anything like it
 I like it 
  January 24, 2011
Wow, incredible, I've never seen anything like it!
 I like it 
  January 24, 2011
That vignette is simply awesome.
 I like it 
  January 24, 2011
wow! this is awesome! Love the whale!
 I like it 
  January 24, 2011
Absolutely extraordinary! Both animals a wonderfully well rendered, but Moby takes the prize. Fabulous and highly unusual!
 I like it 
  January 24, 2011
I've never seen something like this, it's such a good idea. Love it.
 I like it 
  January 24, 2011
That's amazing!
 I like it 
  January 24, 2011
This is reaaally good, gratz!
 I like it 
  January 24, 2011
Not sure what Dave is on about, but the whale is just about perfect. Not oversimplified at all. Amazing work. Its nice to see two of my favorite animals as the moc of the day.
 I like it 
  January 24, 2011
Wow, the squid is amazing, congratz on MOTD!
 I like it 
  January 24, 2011
Sci Fi made a movie out of this, then they made Sharktopus! Congrats on MOTD, well deserved!
  January 24, 2011
Congratulations on MOC of the day! This build is certainly worthy of the title... exceptional work, the whale is really well-sculpted.
 I like it 
  January 24, 2011
WOW! Incredibly presented! Love the sperm whale!
 I like it 
  January 24, 2011
Simply amazing!
 I like it 
  January 24, 2011
Amazing build, this is truly worthy of MOTD. Nice work!
 I like it 
  January 24, 2011
EPIC!PS: can you check out my creations?
 I like it 
  January 24, 2011
WOW!! epic :)
 I like it 
  January 24, 2011
This creation is great! I love your whale it looks just like the real one.
 I like it 
  January 24, 2011
Wow! This is so epic!!! But a squid of that kind has 10 arms, hasn't it. 8 are of equal length and 2 are much longer.
 I like it 
  January 24, 2011
Quite amazing, nice detail, I think both the squid and Whale came out in amazing detail! Keep up the good work.
 I like it 
  January 24, 2011
!!!!! wow...
 I like it 
  January 24, 2011
The pictures really don't do it justice (not that the pics are bad mind you). It's just so much cooler to see this whole thing "live" on the table. More importantly though: What will you teach us in the NEXT installment of Predator & Pray? I vote for Scorpion vs Horny Toad! Attack!
 I like it 
  January 24, 2011
this is great, where did you manage to get all the pieces for the whale, that thing must be huge
 I like it 
  January 24, 2011
Art, really! (Congratz on MOTD)
 I like it 
  January 24, 2011
Squid is gonna win.
 I like it 
  January 24, 2011
i am just speeachless
 I like it 
  January 4, 2011
Awesome!!!
 I like it 
  October 4, 2010
Amazing!
 I made it 
  August 21, 2010
Touche Dave and yes it probably is oversimplified. I can only strive to produce more realistic sculptures with each new project. Best of luck with your next moc.
 I like it 
  August 21, 2010
The sperm whale is a bit "oversimplified", don´t you think? ;) Create a great white shark and I will be the first to rate it! Nice work anyway!
 I like it 
  July 9, 2010
Nice!!!! Its like a Lego version of the movie poster for squid and the whale
Ryan Rubino
 I like it 
Mike the Sniper
  March 20, 2010
can I get directions on how to make the squid?
 I like it 
  February 3, 2010
This is fantastic. I've always being intrigued by whales. Nice job! =D
 I like it 
  January 21, 2010
battle of the giants lol very well done model
 I like it 
  January 10, 2010
Incredible. The detail of it all, the scenery, the poses-it is all just amazing. -Sam
 I like it 
  January 10, 2010
Amazing. A real piece of art.
 I like it 
  December 21, 2009
Hi Ryan, Fantastic! This is an amazing underwater scene, like happens in real life too. Great 3D set up. I like your educational story line. I hope to see more nature scene's from you in the future.
 I like it 
  November 20, 2009
Wow, this is a magnificent work of art! This should have well over 100 'I Like It's' by now. Superb!~H
 I like it 
  August 29, 2009
Amazing build, Best whale and squid I have ever seen in lego. But giant squids tend to be much larger than 42 feet. The squid would also look a lot better in dark red. -Red 7
 I like it 
  July 11, 2009
Amazing build…the whale is absolutely stunning.
  July 3, 2009
This is truly one of the most remarkable MOCs I’ve ever seen. I can’t wait to see installment 2. An awesome build! Thanks for sharing it!
Ryan Rubino
 I like it 
George Kemper
  June 16, 2009
Thesquid is good but the whale is amazing! For sure one of the best MOCs on MOCpages! 5/5-George
Ryan Rubino
 I like it 
chimera -340
  June 16, 2009
holy crap thats amazing, awesome,.....good job
 I like it 
  June 15, 2009
Now that's flippin' awesome! You just made my day!(And an awesome creation!)
 I like it 
  June 13, 2009
WOW!!!...reminds me of animorphs...anybody read the one where they go down as sperm whales and try to capture a giant squid? it was pretty intense...if only i saw this before i read about it...
 I like it 
  June 13, 2009
How did you do that?!
 I like it 
  June 12, 2009
Very clever design for the whale, the SNOT technique is masterful. According to the discovery channel special, the whale wins using his sonic imobilization weapon - cheater!!!
 I like it 
  June 12, 2009
hey did you see the show on discovery channel about the collasel squid it is twice as big as the giant squid and instead of suckers it had hooks that could rip huge chunks from their prey. just some thing for you to have in mind
 I like it 
  June 12, 2009
Very impressive the smothness of the details. 5/5
 I like it 
  June 12, 2009
I saw this on Brother's Brick, and I was stunned, to put it simply. It's amazing how organic you were able to make this look!
 I like it 
  June 11, 2009
hey did you see the show on discovery channel about the collasel squid it is twice as big as the giant squid and instead of suckers it had hooks that could rip huge chunks from their prey. just some thing for you to have in mind
 I like it 
  June 11, 2009
Some of the finest work in organic forms that I've ever seen in Lego. Just stunning!
 I like it 
  June 10, 2009
The word fantastic doesn't begin to describe this work of art. The two giants battling are amazing. How you managed to make these two deadly beasts appear ferocious yet elegant baffles me. And the background, on first glance, looks simple but when you actually look at the jagged rocks, you start to appreciate the detail you put into every inch of this wonderful MOC. G'job.
 I made it 
  June 10, 2009
I'd like to thank everyone for the comments which are much appreciated.And yes Andrew I did take some liberties with the colors. Giant Squid which are alive on the surface or recently expired appear to be a dark orange color. Many of their cephalopod cousins such as octopus,cuttlefish,and other squids can change their appearance considerably including color and patterns. The extent or ability Architeuthis dux has to change its appearance I believe is unknown.When I built the squid back in 2007 black was the only single color I could find all the elements in. The rubber pneumatic tubing was the most limiting. Sperm whales do appear completely in white but i'm not sure if they are some a-melanistic form or actual albinos. So a red eye might be more accurate.In any case the high contrast of black & white was intriguing.
 I like it 
  June 10, 2009
I am amazed...
 I like it 
  June 10, 2009
This is an excellent moc but I was under the impression that giant squid are a pinkish color.
 I like it 
  June 10, 2009
Now this is awesome! My favorite creation I've seen today! Very well built!
 I like it 
  June 10, 2009
While looking at this MOC and reading the narration, I was hearing the theme music from those old National Geographic specials in my head.
 I like it 
  June 10, 2009
I'm speechless...
 I like it 
  June 10, 2009
Both creatures are amazingly well built, I couldn't say which is my favorite. Keep'em coming!
 I like it 
  June 10, 2009
This is amazing. I love the detail put into both animals. The squid looks really scary.
 I like it 
  June 10, 2009
Dude, awesome. Heard of the upcoming movie "Giant Octopus vs. Megalodon"? That'd be cool in LEGO…
 I like it 
  June 10, 2009
Wow, I haven't seen anything like this before! Not many people are able to build animal MOCs, and the accuracy here is indeed incredible!
 I like it 
  June 10, 2009
Now that's pretty cool....no that's prety sweet...hmmmm Don't know what to say. Wait I got it.....wait for it.....WICKED AWESOME!!!
 I like it 
  June 10, 2009
Of all the things you could have built, this wins by far. I love the smoothness/life-likeness (don't think that's a word but you get the point) of the whale, and the squid looks perfect.
 I like it 
  June 10, 2009
A very unique moc, not many people have build something of a scene from nature. The whale is so smooth and the squid is just awsome, i have allways been a big fan of giant squids. Also the bakround really made the moc seem even better. Simply put this is a masterpiece.
 I like it 
  June 10, 2009
...wow... not much can be said about this masterpiece
 I like it 
  June 10, 2009
Quality, and I learnt something I didn't know. Look forward to seeing your other predators.
 I like it 
  June 10, 2009
Masterful work! Creative like a mad man, accurate like a photo, and cool like…something that’s really really cool! This thing ROCKS! You have got to display this thing in a public venue. I bet you that Sea World or Lego land in Carlsbad would be glad to put this thing on display for a while. Your subject is so far off the beaten path for MOCs these days. Relevant, educational, original, and again…totally cool. Can you attach VTOL engines to the whale? Attack!
 I like it 
  June 10, 2009
COOL!!!!!- nothing more to say ,or perhaps EXCELLENT!!!!!
 I like it 
  June 10, 2009
You, Sir, are a genius.
 I like it 
  June 10, 2009
Amazing, one of the best things I've ever seen here on mocpages, Fantastic job
 I like it 
  June 10, 2009
Very unique and nicely done, the whale looks great and very accurate. Either one by themselves would be great, but together they make a truly memorable MOC. Good job!
 I like it 
  June 10, 2009
Ah man, too awesome. Both those sea monsters are amazingly constructed, accurate to what I've read in oceanography books. Great description, too. A top notch build.
 I like it 
  June 10, 2009
This is truly amazing... The titanic struggle of two leviathans, predator and prey, at this apex of nature it is hard to tell the difference between predator and prey because they are both so awe inspiring.
 I like it 
  June 10, 2009
I am glad to see that you finally have this awesome moc posted. I am really digging the accuracy to the real deal,and the fact that you built a whale that is so realistic looking outta lego blows my mind. The moc has evolved so much since you first started building on it. I look forward to seeing this at a convention one of these days, as well as seeing what your next project will be! Great job Ryan!
 
By Ryan Rubino
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