Second concept design for my plant/animal symbiont series. This one is a hybrid between the common raven (Corvus corax) and the deadly nightshade (Atropa belladonna).
Corvus belladonna: This symbiont is commonly associated with death due to the high toxicity of the plant leaves, flowers and berries as well as the animals' tissues and blood. Toxins deter any parasites/predators and berries that drop from the animal are sweet to the taste and can be used to bait prey items such as small mammals or birds. Secondary metabolites extracted from the plant portion of this symbiont can be synthesized into painkillers, hallucinigens and posions.
Chicks are born without their plant symbiont and are highly venerable. During the first few days of life, parent birds will feed their chicks berries (which grow from the skin around the neck and back). Seeds from the plant are stored and germinated in the chick's crop before sending roots throughout the animal which run parallel to the circulatory system. Leaves grow in before feathers along the back, neck and tops of the wings. Feathers will not later grow in where leaves have alreay formed. Due to the high energy demands associated with toxin production and flight, this symbiont cannot survive on photosynthetic products alone and must consume other animals and plants to survive.