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Spec World, or The Speculative Dinosaur Project, is a massive, massive world-building work in progress. It's basically an attempt to imagine how the world would be if the K/Pg Extinction Event hadn't happened 65 million years ago as seen from the perspective of dimension-hopping explorers and scientists from our world ("Home-Earth").

Best thing you can do is just start reading.

Specworld was almost nearly finished, but then, new palaeontological discoveries (especially this little feller) changed a lot of what we know about dinosaurs. The project has stalled out since 2008, and there are many lost illustrations and broken links. But the imagination, wonderful creature designs, good biology (hallelujah!) and offbeat humor more than make up for it.

The project isn't entirely dead, as the Yahoo club below shows. Also, some DA pictures from the staff like this suggest that, once the main site is updated, things will get very interesting... (A summary including some of the new ideas can be found here.)


Tropes Used:

 Dave Marjanović: "Mostly, our reaction to Tianyulong was just 'oh, shit' and nothing further."

  • Big Badass Bird of Prey: Avisaurids. Dromaeosaurids and oviraptorosaurs could arguably count, too, though they're not avialians.
  • Call a Smeerp a Rabbit: Species are named after Earth animals, fictional Earth animals, fictional characters...
  • Dead Fic: Not entirely though; the Yahoo club is still functional. Its activity fluctuates, however, and at one point it was uncertain if it was still active, but it returned with a vengeance.
    • As of the current time, the site itself has been moved, and the URL in the page intro is no longer valid. This is the new homepage, but there are still many articles/links that have to be transplanted and/or fixed up before the site is updated.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: They're the main focus of the site, with other, less spectacular groups like mammals being ignored in their favour.
  • Everything's Better with Penguins: Penguins of DEATH!!!, ninja penguins, and just plain old penguins.
  • Everything's Better with Platypi: There are some platypi and platypus cousins, including big ones that are a danger to human feet.
  • Everything's Squishier with Cephalopods: Salmonites.
  • Excuse Plot: The bit about scientists crossing from Home-Earth to Specworld. How they did it isn't important, just that they got there.
  • Expy: Some animals are analogues of Real Life modern ones.
  • Feathered Fiend: Any of the predatory or aggressive coelurosaurs, particularly the penguins of death!!! and the cityfinches.
  • Frogs and Toads: They don't appear to have come very far with their amphibians, but they do have a cookie-cutter tadpole that chomps on the behinds of wading dinosaurs.
  • Left Hanging: There are still several incomplete pages, incomplete descriptions and illustrations, and dead links that haven't been fixed.
  • Loads And Loads Of Hypothetical Creatures
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot and Rule of Cool: The Spec ecosystem seems to run on these tropes. The thing is, it's still believable.
  • Science Marches On: Due to the main site not being updated since late 2008. That said, the authors are well-verse in life in the late Cretaceous, so nearly all of the concepts are still quite plausible and accurate.
    • The site refers to a branch of the Therizinosauria as the Ceratonychidae. However, the name Ceratonykus is now used for a Real Life member of the Alvarezsauridae.[1]
      • More Hilarious in Hindsight are the hesperonychid dromaeosaurids. There's now a real dromaeosaurid named Hesperonychus, though fortunately it appears that none of the Spec hesperonychids actually use that as a genus name. Ironically, Hesperonychus was a small relative of Microraptor, while the hesperonychids (with one exception, the small and slender djanada) are some of the largest and most robust of the Spec dromaeosaurids.
    • The magnoraptor, a giant dromaeosaurid, was intended to be a descendant of what was once thought to be a real life giant dromaeosaurid, Megaraptor, which is now known to have been a carnosaur.
  • Shown Their Work: And how!
  • Shout-Out: There are many pop culture references intermingled in the creature names and descriptions, most obviously the Alfred Hitchcock's Thebirds.
  • Speculative Documentary: Err, website.
  • Take That: Not on the main website, but in the spinoff The Saga of the Caripoo, Brian Choo mentions that he'd "rather watch Highlander II than meet another caripoo."
    • This is also the reason why you won't find anything even remotely similar to a sapient creature on Spec; it's a silent protest against Dinosauroids (to the point where the group of dinosaurs to whom Dale Russel's absurdly humanlike Dinosauroid belonged is almost extinct!)
  • Toothy Bird: Certainly, as several varieties of toothed birds have survived on Spec.
  • Turtle Power: Including a lineage of turtles with breathing organs growing out of their butts.
  • Zerg Rush: Cityfinches do this.

Notes

  1. Luckily, this is barely even a borderline case, as the spelling difference means that there's no name conflict even if they're pronounced the same way.
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