You've just arrived to a new planet. Exiting your space vehicle...what do you see?
Don't be boring and lay out the drony E.T. or triangular-beady-eyed-abducting alien. No, no, no. Let's do an exercise to see what we can come up with.
Close your eyes...don't peek...I said don't peek!
Now, what do you see? Is it a tropical like world, desert world, water world, wetlands, or frozen tundra? Write it down.
Okay now that you have the land, decide if it's populated (alien, human, or diverse mix) and how "civilized" it is. Write it down.
'Kay, time to research the types of animals you'd find in that kind of habitat. Once you find them, list the individual features on either small pieces of paper or index cards. Take the stack and toss it on the table, shuffle them around. Pick up three to five.
That is your species.
It's a creative, unique, and spontaneous way to build creatures...and I'd doubt any other writer would end up with the same type of animal.
Good writing all!