A bit of fan art for a novel I'm reading named A Fire Upon The Deep by Vernor Vinge.
This is my interpretation of them. The book describes them as wolf-like with long necks, haha.
These creatures are called Tines, and what's neat about them is that they can communicate with each other telepathically and through grunts and whistles. Their intelligence increases as they group together, and groups of three to six of them form to create one 'mental entity'. It's a really neat concept.
If one new creature joins the pack it brings memories and skills that the entity didn't have before, and the entity changes to incorporate the new creature. If you think about it, the entity can therefore live forever, changing bits at a time, but once enough members of the hivemind dies it's like the entity is a completely new one.
But if these guys get separated or move too far from each other, their telepathy breaks and therefore destroys the entity. These guys are at about a medieval level of civilization, and Vinge does a really neat job at describing their communities in the book.
Tines © Vernor Vinge
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