Imagine this ghostly thing moving silently, nearly unseen, through the forest. It is monstrous in size, but its movements are subtle...a tilt of the head, a slight twitch of the ear-feathers...until it opens its beak wide, issues a horrible roar-screech, and crashes through the underbrush at its prey.
Yeah. Grizzowl 01.
I agree, the eyes need that blank stare.One thing I think I should mention is that an owl's eyes are distinctive: they face forward. They have binocular vision. That's part of why the face of owls is adapted to be a big dish, and part of why they look...unnervingly human.
None of the examples (with the possible exception of Grizzowl) have that trait, and I think that is part of what they're lacking. The artist should be placing the eyes in the front of the head, just above the beak, not to the side. Giving us a front-on view of the face also helps establish the owlishness: the discs of the "track 2" owlbear make more sense in front of the face than to the side.
My favorite rendition of the owlbear is the one in the Everquest games. For me, this is what an owlbear looks like, no matter what the Monster Manual says:
Female owlbear - EQ2i, the EverQuest 2 Wiki - Quests, guides, mobs, npcs, and more
Unfortunately, there aren't any big shots of owlbears that I've found.
I actually have all the EQRPG books, but no scanner with which to digitize any of the images contained within.There is a picture in the Swords and Sorcery Luclin Bestiary I particularly like, although hunting down that book for one picture may be a mistake.
Plenty use their beak for cutting up prey. But the damned things can open their beaks disturbingly wide.I agree, the eyes need that blank stare.
As for owls having "small" beaks, it's because they, unlike eagles, don't use their beaks to carve their prey:
Yeah I like the quadruped most I suppose. It is a bit too hunchbacked though. I like it mostly for the more owlish face; I don't mind a bipedal owlbear.
Ecology: Owlbears have a lifespan of 20 years. They are warm-blooded mammals, but lay eggs. They prey on anything, from rabbits to bears, to trolls, to snakes and reptiles. Owlbears prefer temperate climates, but some thrive in subarctic environments. As a hybrid of two animals, one diurnal and the other nocturnal, they have an unusual active time, waking at noon, hunting animals active during the day, then hunting nocturnal creatures before going to sleep at midnight. Owlbears are active in the summer months and hibernate during the cold season. There are rumors of white arctic owlbears, a cross between arctic owls and polar bears, but no specimens have ever been captured.
Hmm... wonder if the platypus is called duckbeaver in the D&D world, and if a wizard did it...I always did love the ecology sections in the 2e Monster manuals. Very, very evocative.
Now there's a thought. Owlbears are just a carnivorous oversized kind of platypus. Just wait for the dire koala and fiendish echidna.Hmm... wonder if the platypus is called duckbeaver in the D&D world, and if a wizard did it...