Brood Beast and Symbiomice © Tommy Leung

Who could be better positioned for a bit of speculative biology than a parasitologist?

Artist and parasitologist Tommy Leung has a mind for puzzling out species networks, and he puts it to - no other word fits - fantastic use when thinking up new creature-relationships. Brood Beast & Symbiomice is a detailed example of fictional naturalist field sketching and it leaves as many questions as it does answers. How did the Brood Beast descend into this role from ancestral wild pigs? What would this relationship look like if it were fossilized; would we assume the Symbiomice were scavengers on a Brood Beast corpse?

Playing with speculative ideas visually can be a valuable way to prepare the mind for the unexpected when it appears in biology.


For the third year running, we are turning September into a month-long celebration of science artists by delivering new sciart to invade your eyeballs. The SciArt Blitz! Can’t get enough? Check out what was previously featured on this day:


2013: Stellar Photography by an Citizen Astronomer - photo by Alan Friedman


2012: Night Growl - comic by Maki Naro