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Gliders' Birds Really DID Exist!

Thornbrake

Well, looks like there's a real-life candidate for the Gliders' giant birds. Check out the latest new reports about the extinct Pelagornis sandersi, described as a giant condor-like bird with a 21 foot wingspan.

Check out this size comparison from linked article above:

Giant Bird

That is certainly big enough to carry a light, willowy Glider!

Night_Tanem

Such big wingspan and yet only that weight. In my case it's the other way around =))
Still you'll have to have some more patience because the head is more that of a seagull while it should be more like an eagle. Getting close though...

Sadachbia

Aww, nothing about Argentavis? That was pretty big too.

As an informal biologist, I'd love to know what order (or even family, if that's knowable) P. sandersi belonged to. "Condor-like" doesn't tell me much beyond "could have been a member of Ciconiiformes, but not necessarily". (Ciconiiformes is the order that storks, condors, and vultures belong to; hawks, eagles, falcons, etc. belong to a different order, Falconiformes. Sometimes the scavenger-birds and the Falconiform birds are grouped together under Accipitriformes, but DNA analysis shows falcons may be more closely related to parrots than to hawks and eagles. If anyone cares…)

A quick jaunt to Wikipedia tells me that the genus Pelagornis was probably related to either storks or pelicans, but those are different orders (Ciconiiformes vs. Pelecaniformes). The genus Argentavis doesn't have a definitive placement.

Of course, as Abode is a whole other planet, I doubt its creatures would follow the same phylogenetic classifications. Similar species (wolves, humans) are either the result of convergent evolution (a very very very tiny probability) or descended from migration that happened between Earth and Abode at some point in both planets' distant past. (Hey, it's fantasy/sci-fi, who's to say they couldn't have had natural Bermuda Triangle-like portals or wormholes or something?)

Night_Tanem

How do the seagulls fit in those orders? All I know about birds id that they fly and that there are many kinds...

MrsGrizzley

Uhm... the only thing I know is that all seagulls know one word and one word only... "MINE!!"

Trollbabe

Can you imagine what huge drumsticks you would get off that bird?

Tam

@Night_Tanem, seagulls are in a different order, Charadriiformes.

Slight shift, do we know how big the Great Hawks were? In the comics, the Gliders were so tiny on them...

Night_Tanem

@Tam thanks for the info! I learn a bit every day this way :)
They look huge if you compare them to the wolves so assuming the wolves are as big as here the birds would be as big as a house?

Tavie

Boids.

Tam

Hahaha, great link, Tavie. XD

Yeah, the Great Hawks were ENORMOUS...I don't think that Pelagornis sandersi, as big as it may have been, even came close.

Trollbabe

If it's any help, I think female Gliders are five feet tall. Not sure where I picked that up.

An albatross has an eleven foot wingspan? Big load to have to wear around your neck as punishment.

Since birds are physically incapable of being housebroken, I would not want to live in the vicinity of Blue Mountain.

RichardPini

Trollbabe said: If it's any help, I think female Gliders are five feet tall. Not sure where I picked that up.


Probably somewhere along the way, during one of the many mentions of elf-vs-human height. People tend to forget that, on average, the Wolfriders are about four feet tall. The Gliders, Winnowill included, average about five feet tall. And with the good ol' square-cube law that governs height and weight, Cutter (for example) who is 2/3 the height of a human (being really general here for easy calculation) would weigh (2/3)^3 or 8/27 or less than 1/3 of said human - or, again being really general, about 50 pounds. The Gliders are 5/6 the height of a human, so they'd weigh in at 125/216 or a bit more than half ... but given they are really evolved toward skinniness, you can imagine downward from that "half" and not be off.

Tam

Oh, I'm so glad I calculated mostly correctly. We have height guidelines at Oakleaf, and I was like, "well, I know Wolfriders are about 4'0"..." and went from there. It's funny that I and others have long accepted that Wolfriders are short little things compared to us, but the idea of the shortest among us (I'm 5'2") are eye-to-eye with Gliders is...so odd. XD

Night_Tanem

Same here! Good to know >:D

Trollbabe

I think Winnowill had to be five feet tall, to pull off the "Lady Venovel" act long-term.