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This question already has an answer here:

In my fantasy world, magic, aliens and super technology all exist and so I figured it would be cool to add a type of lion or bears that are rideable.

My questions are

  • How big should they be? (Really how big should the lion be)
  • How would they be used? (I figured it would be like the rider would hold on while the mount uses their claws and teeth to attack or the rider jumps off and attacks while the mount does too.)
  • Food for the mount? (I already have an animal species that breeds rapidly and acts as food for lots of carnivores.)
  • Relationship and taming? (How could they have been tamed?)
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marked as duplicate by Dubukay, Renan, RonJohn, elemtilas, JBH Oct 7 '18 at 3:55

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  • $\begingroup$ It's not how big they are, it's how big their teeth are. $\endgroup$ – Justin Thyme Oct 7 '18 at 0:38
  • $\begingroup$ I mean they would be appropriate for the animal’s size $\endgroup$ – AOS1981 Leader Of The 1981 Arm Oct 7 '18 at 0:52
  • $\begingroup$ There seems to be a lot of questions in this question. Please pick one. Then when you have a reasonable amount of responses, use the results from that to inform your other questions, which you can post separately (possibly linking back to previous questions as you go). Incidentally, Wikipedia says that interior brown bears are about the same size as lions. Of course, polar bears can be much larger. $\endgroup$ – Brythan Oct 7 '18 at 0:53
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    $\begingroup$ Very, very carefully. $\endgroup$ – pojo-guy Oct 7 '18 at 1:22
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    $\begingroup$ "aliens and super technology all exist and so I figured it would be cool to add a type of lion or bears that are rideable" the rule of cool does have its limits, you know. $\endgroup$ – Renan Oct 7 '18 at 2:53
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Perhaps take a hint from the Greeks, and the Centaur. It was a human torso on a horse, not a bear or lion. There is just something about the scale of a human and horse that seems to work. The human is big enough to control the horse, without appearing to overpower it.

So your bear or lion should be about the size of a horse.

It would have enough bulk to be intimidating, and large enough to allow a good solid, sturdy mounting platform, or saddle. The scale has to be such that the beast has enough strength and flexibility to carry the rider, and still has plenty left over for combat. A smaller animal would, I posit, spend more energy on carrying the rider and adjusting to the rider's position, than in providing any support in combat. Also, if the human were too big in proportion to the animal, weight distribution would be problematic. The center of gravity of the combo would be continuously shifting.

Elephants are actually too big for practical combat. They are too energy-intensive in terms of food. The feed/utility ratio is too high. Hannibal would have had to carry more in food for the elephants than they alone could carry, so they were a net negative as far as carrying supplies. An elephant eats about 400 pounds of food a day. There are far better uses for 400 pounds of food, even if you can source food locally.

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