Help identify this book of imaginary animals!
July 26, 2013 1:54 PM   Subscribe

I'm trying to find a book I read 20-25 years ago - an illustrated book of animals and ecosystems that never existed. If my memory is accurate (and it was a long time ago), the book was illustrated in a very realistic style, but the animals were all a bit bizarre looking. Things like giant carnivorous beavers, or tree-dwelling armadillos (I don't know if those were actually in it, but that kind of thing). I don't remember much else - I think it was fairly slim, and sort of a coffee table book, but that could be totally wrong. Any ideas very welcome!
posted by allen8219 to Society & Culture (4 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I remember this book! It was a collaboration between scientists, science fiction authors, and artists, attempting to design from scratch a functioning planetary ecosystem. The name escapes me....



Was it Medea: Harlan's World, perhaps?
posted by BitterOldPunk at 2:05 PM on July 26, 2013

This could be one of Dougal Dixon's books, probably After Man: A Zoology of the Future. Carnivorous land-bats, gigantic elephant-like antelopes sound similar to the kinds of beats you remember.
Can't speak for the evolutionary biology behind it (Dixon is an artist and geologist) but the art's wonderful

His predictions of future human evolution - Man After Man - are also excellent, unless you ever want to sleep again.
posted by ocular shenanigans at 2:11 PM on July 26, 2013 [4 favorites]

Was it the Codex Seraphinianus?
posted by codswallop at 3:36 PM on July 26, 2013

I'd say it sounds like After Man too... Dougal Dixon also did a book on how dinosaurs might have evoloved if they had not gone extinct, which was similar. There was also The Future Is Wild which tied into a tv series but I think that would be too recent.

An outside chance is one of Barlow's books
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:03 PM on July 26, 2013

« Older How to stop a collection agency from calling on a...   |   Should I file a police report? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.