The Muse of Invention
One of the best things about speculative fiction is the joy of pure invention, riffing off of patterns we see in the Nature. The florescent flora of Miranda, in Avatar, comes to mind–stunningly beautiful, inspired perhaps by some of the bio-luminescence of the sea.
(Image of flora in Avatar) (Image of florescent sea anemone)
Michael Swanwick’s Stations of the Tide
Here is a passage from Stations of the Tide that I thought beautiful, inspired perhaps by the symbioses we see among sea creatures–from whales to crabs–like barnacles, remoras, and whale lice.
The orchid crabs were migrating to the sea. They scuttled across the sand road, swamping it under their numbers. Bright parasitic flowers waved gently on their armor, making the forest floor ripple under a carpet of multicolored petals, like a submarine garden seen through clear fathoms of Ocean brine.