[[caption-width-right:350:A mock-up for [[WhatCouldHaveBeen if it were a book.]]]]

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").

The best thing you can do is just [[http://speculativeevolution.wikia.com/wiki/Speculative_Dinosaur_Project start reading]].[[note]]The project has been jumping around for the better part of a decade, to put it mildly. You may see the original incarnation [[http://web.archive.org/web/20080731013714im_/http://www.bowdoin.edu/~dbensen/Spec/ here]], but use it only for nostalgic purposes, as a lot has changed. The current version can be found on the Speculative Evolution Wiki.[[/note]]

The project has [[DeadFic stalled out since 2008]] (mostly due to unexpected discoveries in paleontology that 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 [[http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/DinosaurMailingList-KilledThreads Yahoo club]] shows. Also, some DA pictures from the staff like [[http://pristichampsus.deviantart.com/art/Terrorsaur-139874737 this]] suggest that, [[LeftHanging once the main site is updated, things will get very interesting...]] (A summary including some of the new ideas can be found [[http://speculativebiology.wikia.com/wiki/The_Speculative_Dinosaur_Project here]].)


!!Tropes Used:

* ArtisticLicenseBiology: In the earlier stages of the project it was full of this; there are still quite a few that are being fixed.
* CallASmeerpARabbit: Species are named after Earth animals, fictional Earth animals, fictional characters...
* DeadFic: Not entirely though; the [[http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/DinosaurMailingList-KilledThreads Yahoo club]] is still functional. Its activity fluctuates.
* DeathWorld: Many of Spec's lifeforms are overly dangerous (ex. there's a species of raptor that likes cutting people's heads off for no reason and penguin-piranhas that are so aggressive they'll even attack the moon) and a lot of animals and plants that want to either kill you or ruin your day.
** There's a type of [[UpToEleven venomous tree!]]
* EverythingsBetterWithDinosaurs: They're the main focus of the site (including birds), with other, less spectacular groups like mammals being ignored in their favour.
* EverythingsBetterWithMonkeys: You got your pretty normal lorises, galagos, and lemurs; and... you got your pokemuses, chillas, and tree foxes.
* EverythingsBetterWithPenguins: Penguins of DEATH!!!, ninja penguins, [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking and just plain old penguins]].
* EverythingsBetterWithPlatypi: There are some platypi and platypus cousins, including big ones that are a danger to human feet and gigantic whale-like animals.
* EverythingsSquishierWithCephalopods: Salmonites.[[note]]although in the latest revision they have been removed because of the high improbability of freshwater cephalopods[[/note]] Also the balaenateuths.
* ExcusePlot: 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 RealLife modern ones.
** Semi-justified that similar niches would probably be held by animals similar in appearance (i.e. the ciraf is an African high-browser like the giraffe - but the coloration is very unoriginal and it has a close relative that is very similar to the okapi).
* FeatheredFiend: Any of the predatory or aggressive coelurosaurs, particularly the penguins of death!!!, the cityfinches and the nerds-of-paradise (also known as the chunderbird).
* LeftHanging: There are still several incomplete pages, incomplete descriptions and illustrations, and dead links that haven't been fixed.
* [[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters Loads And Loads Of Hypothetical Creatures]]
* NameOfCain: A noasaurid, and fastest predator of Madagascar. It kills and eviscerates its prey entirely with its hands. On an unrelated note it has a symbiotic relationship with a spider that protects it from parasites.
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: Lots, examples include the imperial sabre-tyrant, the white ninja, the horned molok, the giant psycho-killer penguin of DEATH!!!, the king kronoshark, and the cockatrice. Among plants there's the Tree of Pain (ironically, animals don't actually feel pain when stung by this tree, they die before that).
* NeverSmileAtACrocodile: Crocodilians are the top predators of Madagascar and parallel species grow on average larger than on our world, while there are quite a few other types such as...
** The cuttercrocs; basically identical to "normal" crocodilans except that they have slicing teeth that leave much bloodier wounds.
** The crunchercrocs: hyenas if they were crocodilans, the carcass of a full-grown titanosaur will not exist after 3 days when a group of crunchcrocs find it.
** The croctiger and the croclion, huge, saber-toothed top predators of Madagascar.
* NinjaPirateZombieRobot and RuleOfCool: The Spec ecosystem seems to run on these tropes. The thing is, it's still believable.
* OurCryptidsAreMoreMysterious: Cryptids in Spec are alleged, undiscovered species of dinosaurs and other creatures whose only reports are eyewitness accounts and unconfirmed sightings, and their existence is usually the topic of much discussion. Fittingly enough, most of them are expies of several alleged cryptids from our world.
* PteroSoarer: Averted. Until very recently, this was due to the project simply not having any pterosaurs at all, as the creators initially believed they were declining prior to the K/T extinction. In the most current version, there are pterosaurs, but they are not numerous and exist mainly as flightless predators in Australia.
* RaptorAttack: Averted. While raptors are abundant, they are all correctly depicted with feathers, and most (though not all) of them are not pack hunters.
* ShownTheirWork: And how!
* ShoutOut: There are many pop culture references intermingled in the creature names and descriptions, most obviously the Alfred Hitchcock's Thebirds.
* SpeculativeBiology: A whole site dedicated to what the world would look like if the Cretaceous extinction never occurred.
* SpeculativeDocumentary: Err, website.
* StockDinosaurs: ZigZagged. Obviously, none of the stock species themselves show up, but many familiar groups do, including [[TyrannosaurusRex tyrannosaurs]], [[RaptorAttack dromaeosaurs]], hadrosaurs, sauropods, ceratopsians, and ankylosaurs. The subversion is that the "modern" members of these groups aren't necessarily descended from the most famous extinct species--for example, Spec's ceratopsians are descended from [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leptoceratopsidae leptoceratopsids]] rather than true ceratopsids.
* TakeThat: 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 the idea of [[LizardFolk Dinosauroids]] (to the point where the group of dinosaurs to whom Dale Russel's absurdly humanlike Dinosauroid belonged is almost extinct!)
* ThreateningShark: The [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast king kronoshark]].
* ToiletHumor: A fair bit, most of it courtesy of contributor Brian Choo.
* ToothyBird: Certainly, as several varieties of toothed birds have survived on Spec.
* TurtlePower: Including a lineage of turtles with breathing organs growing out of their butts and some colossal club-tailed ones.
* TyrannosaurusRex: Tyrannosaurs--implied to be descendants of T. rex itself--are the apex predators of North America and Eurasia.
* VomitIndiscretionShot: The Nerd-of-Paradise is a bird that uses its own vomit to subdue prey and fend off predators. It [[AcquiredPoisonImmunity cannot be poisoned]] because it vomits out any toxins in its body.
* ZergRush: Cityfinches do this.