I’m still trying to work through that big pile of speculative evolution concepts from a few years ago, so I’m hoping to make this month sort of a “lightning round” to finally clear out the backlog.
(I’m not going to set a definite posting schedule this year because things are pretty chaotic right now. But I’ll try to fit in as many as I can!)
So let’s start off with a concept from an anonymous submitter, who requested a “kiwi/sengi niche alverezsaur”:
Khamartaia dolabella is similar in size and build to Shuvuuia, about 1m in length (3’3″), with slender legs and stumpy arms with massive thumb claws. Unlike its close relatives, however, it has small eyes and fairly poor vision, relying more on its other senses to forage around during the darkness of night.
It has an acute sense of smell, and its long narrow snout is full of highly touch-sensitive nerves, allowing it to probe around for invertebrate prey in soil, undergrowth, and cracks and crevices. Its chunky thumb claws are used to dig up burrows and to tear through bark to access deeper insect nests.
It mainly relies on its long legs to sprint away from threats, although with its poor eyesight these escapes are often rather ungainly.
Today’s #Spectember concept is a combination of a couple of anonymous submissions:
These two animals are the descendants of brontotheres and paraceratheres, almost the last living representatives of their kinds, hanging on in the equivalent of modern-day times in a world similar to our own.
Despite some minor delays, it’s time once again for #Spectember – when I dive back into the big pile of speculative evolution concepts that you all submitted to me in 2020, and try to get through a few more of the backlog.
(…There’s still over 50 of them left. This is going to take a while.)
So today’s concept comes from an anonymous submitter, who requested an arboreal ornithopod dinosaur:
(This was originally supposed to be a final-day-of-#Spectember bonus post, but it got much longer than I expected so it’s a few days late.)
To finish off this year’s diversion into speculative evolution, instead of pulling from my still-rather-long list of unused submissions I’m doing something a little different – trying to give an idea of how I go through the actual process of designing a speculative species.
It was on the cover of the old edition of After Man I first discovered as a kid in the local library, it immediately caught my attention, and as a result it’s always been one of my favorite species from the book.
But some of its anatomy doesn’t really hold up.
I really really Do Not Like the “official” redesign that replaced the original art in the 2018 reprint. It’s shrinkwrapped.
It’s September, the Cambrian series has been delayed until later this year, so instead let’s get speculative – it’s time for the return of #Spectember! I can’t manage daily content this time around, but I still have plenty of submitted concepts left over from last time.
So let’s get started with some marsupials suggested by someone crediting themselves only as Bruno Drundridge: