Wanting to create your own unique wildlife a la the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs, or just wanting to get outside your usual monster manuals? Here are a few choice works of speculative nonfiction from my own shelves that you might consider adding to yours:
wikipedia for a complete rundown.
After Man won a Hugo Award when it was published in 1981. It has been out of print for a while, so it may be hard to come by, but worth getting if you can find it cheap.
Easier to find, is a more recent (but similar) work by Dixon, this one tied into a 2003 BBC documentary miniseries. The Future is Wild details evolution on earth over a span of 200 million years, checking in at three different periods. Again this is a world post-mankind. Here we get pack-hunting, flightless birds, terrestrial squids called swampuses, and the slithersucker--a predatory slime mold.
The Wildlife of Star Wars. It’s far from bantha poodoo.
The World of King Kong gives us an isolated island where dinosaurs got 65 million (give or take) more years of evolution--which turns out mostly to be in the direction of “scary” and “more dangerous.” They share their inhospitable island home with all sorts of invertebrates grown larger than conventional science would say they ought to. And then there’s that giant gorilla everybody’s talking about..
So there you have it, plenty of creative creature inspiration. Enjoy.
3 minutes ago