Happy Labor Day, everyone!
“The diversity of life forms, so numerous that we have yet to identify most of them, is the greatest wonder of this planet.” – E. O. Wilson
Throughout history, man has created mythical creatures by combining characteristics from multiple known animals or animals and humans (e.g. Pegasus, griffins, the Minotaur, fauns, etc.).
Your challenge is to create a new animal or intelligent life form using one or more animals as your basis. Googling animals from around the world is a good way to start finding animals that inspire your creativity. You could also try doing some basic research on your selected animal(s) to see what sort of social structure is normal for that species, what it’s diet is like, and if it has any special abilities (e.g. being able to hold its breath for an hour).
After you’ve created the animal or being, try to imagine how it came into existence. Was it a freak of nature, science experiment, alien, or other? Is it from another world? If it is, design a world or at least a habitat for the animal or intelligent being.
You can be really scientific and come up with a diet for your animal, mating rituals, etc.