silly question but what is speculative biology? Is it making fantasy creatures or is it an actual biology science thing?
Ah I'm a bit late getting to this, and don't worry, it's not a silly question at all!
Speculative Biology… The way I use the term is more or less designing fantasy creatures. Speculative Evolution (often used interchangeably) is defined on Wikipedia as, "a genre of speculative fiction and an artistic movement focused on hypothetical scenarios in the evolution of life, and a significant form of fictional biology."
There's a bit of a community on tumblr. Speculative Biology draws in a lot of paleo artists and sci-fi enthusiasts alike from what I've seen. Me, I was drawn to it as a huge fan of SPORE (proud to say I've played it since the creature creator demo was out!)
I do speculative xenobiology (hypothetical alien evolution), and there's some designers out there with much more experience at creating designs that are both alien and convincing at the same time, but what keeps me going is to just have fun with it and see what I like most!
Another Speculative Biology Prompt List
This time in text format while I think of these on the fly.
Some of these can cover the others (science words can be like that), I recommend you just let loose and try to have fun making some weird creatures! Oh, and tag as speculative biology so I can see it.
I don't know how much of a speculative biology community there is on Waterfall, but I had made a prompt list a while ago centring around speculative botany. There aren't any rules to this, other than don't stress yourself and maybe tag it as SpecBot (specbot) and/or speculative biology so I can search for and repour them.
Some shipscuttlers and miscellaneous aliens, including a scuttler on a humanoid's shoulder to show off how small they are.
[ID: A mollusc like creature, with a name that starts with "Clown", but several potential names have been added in brackets like ship hopper, head hopper, or ship scuttler. /End ID]
Walkcycle for an Olsk, the snail like creatures in my speculative biology project!
Day 07 - Inorganic Material
[Image ID: Drawings of the Uurak, a genderless race made of stone and inner magma. Younger Uurak are rough around the edges, which cause their long draped garments to tear, while older Uurak are smoothed out from age. The few remaining nobles can afford to be tumbled, chiselled, and sealed to prevent further wear. They have no limits to the number of eyes, mouths, or limbs they can have. One particularly old Uurak in a lab coat stands on the right edge of the page, labelled as being Dr. Magmiopsis. /End ID.]
Day 05 - Hard Shell
[Image ID: A red and blue creature resembling a clam or mussel with teeth, wings, and eyes located under the shell along each lateral side. Text in the image reads "Fly valve", "angry bitey thing", "Comes in swarms, can leave a clean skeleton in seconds", "Made up of more mouth than any reasonable creature", and "suctions self to walls with wings". /End ID]
Day 04 - Back Frills
[Image ID: Bipedal creatures with heavy shells obscuring most of their bodies. They have eyes on the ends of stalks and long, proboscis like mouths ending in beaks, and feelers grouped around their eyes and mouths, all coming from the front opening of the shell. They have sturdy legs and stubby tails coming from the wider back opening, and a back sail that stands on end coming from a back slot in the shell. /End ID]
Day 3, bioluminescence
[Image ID: A deep sea bioluminescent creature. The head resembles the whole body of a manta ray with tendrils extending from its wings, and glowing spines trail down its back to a mass of brightly glowing tendrils. It has two broad flippers located towards the front of the torso, which have glowing tendrils as well. /End ID]
Day 2 - Long Furry Feelers.
[Image ID: Three furry elephantine creatures lacking eyes, with two furry feelers located at about the base of their face, two smaller feelers at the top of the head, lop ears, and a long furry tail. They are shown to be much larger than a human person, rideable, and herbivorous. /end ID]
I've been taking part in an alien challenge, day 1 was orange spotting.
[Image ID: A dull green quadrupedal creature with bright orange spots, long neck, fur, and tail, which ends with an orange bulb.]