Thinking about the shape gets pretty weird.

So my species has a more or less horizontal posture, pretty much a small sentient raptor. They can assume an 'upright' position, but only in the sense of a parrot.

They would of course have some kind of personal furniture for sitting elevated above the ground, and need some kind of seating shape for safely operating vehicles. They'd also need to harness themselves for anything faster than a buggy (cars, airplanes, spacecraft).

Human-shaped chairs and seat belts would thus be useless to them; their tail gets in the way, they can't rest their back against them, and they're very unsafe.

What kind of furniture would adequately rest a theropod, and also serve as a good model for safety seats?

Optionally, but ideally, it could also free up their legs to use for operating machinery or using tools.

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    $\begingroup$ from early theropods to modern birds actually covers a large range of sitting positions, you may want to narrow it down a bit more. $\endgroup$
    – John
    Feb 20, 2019 at 15:20
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    $\begingroup$ Jeez... How many times have I pointed this out on this website... The word you're probably thinking of is sapient as all birds are already sentient. You know, at this point I give up. Obviously, language seems to have changed and sentient is now just a synonym for sapient. This is rather inconvenient as there doesn't seem to be any good alternative to denote what sentience used to mean. Consciousness comes fairly close but it's imperfect. Regardless, language changes whether those changes cause problems or not. $\endgroup$
    – AngelPray
    Feb 20, 2019 at 15:41
  • $\begingroup$ by "raptor" do you mean something like a velociraptor or something like an eagle. The word raptor is not very descriptive by itself. $\endgroup$
    – John
    Feb 20, 2019 at 20:36
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    $\begingroup$ @AngelPray: I feel u many people confuse sentient and sapient, I only remind myself why is it homo sapient and not homo sentient. Then again I suspect between these 2 terms there might be numerous smaller categories and some are arguably interchangeable medically so why not let this one go. $\endgroup$
    – user6760
    Feb 21, 2019 at 0:42
  • $\begingroup$ @AngelPray I'm well aware...but 'sentient' is the more common term people use in sci-fi, less likely to confuse people and I really can't be bothered. Otherwise, I'd be using the term 'sophont' instead to describe sapient beings. $\endgroup$ Feb 21, 2019 at 13:13

4 Answers 4


I am not sure a theropod would have the need to sit.

If you want to go for it anyway, I would go for something where they can rest their lower abdomen/belly upon, similar to the harness of a deltaplane (I have found a beautiful drawing of a raptor resting on a tree which could illustrate this very nicely, but I have not the permission to share the image).

Basically you want to assure a third point of contact to release any balancing effort. Something going in the red area in the picture below should do.

bird chair

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ +1 for mentioning that therapods probably don't need to sit. Humans have specific adaptations for sitting (namely padded backsides), indicating that sitting is quite prominent in our evolutionary history. I see none of those adaptations in therapods or birds. Most birds specifically have adaptations to ligaments that allow for muscle-free grasping of perches. I'm not sure if therapods have similar adaptations for effort-free standing (presumably some of the larger ones would as they'd have trouble lying and getting up). $\endgroup$ Feb 20, 2019 at 12:34
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    $\begingroup$ That's mostly for small birds. Larger ones do indeed tend to sit often, starting with phasianids like turkeys and pheasants. Secretary birds like to rest in the grass, and ratites seem to have two 'sitting' positions: a conventional belly rest and a rather amusing one where they 'sit' on their ankles (though there's pictures of storks, herons, egrets, and a secretary bird doing this as well). Lastly, tyrannosaurs appear to have put weight on their pubic bone to sit. $\endgroup$ Feb 20, 2019 at 13:01
  • $\begingroup$ I think a belly + abdomen + chest rest might work well. And then for strapping themselves in, a harness could probably go over the back. $\endgroup$ Feb 20, 2019 at 13:04
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    $\begingroup$ @ThesaurusRex, small and big birds "squats" on their belly. I have seen chicken and small birds doing that to take dust baths. $\endgroup$
    – L.Dutch
    Feb 20, 2019 at 14:58
  • $\begingroup$ therapods sit to brood eggs, we actually have fossils of them sitting in nests of eggs. $\endgroup$
    – John
    Feb 20, 2019 at 20:34

therapod sitting has actually been studied.

It actually varies quite a bit depending on what therapod you are talking about, some theropods are nearly horizontal others nearly vertical. Raptors have a rear facing pubuc boot (an enlarged section of the pubis that the body weight can sit on) meaning they actually end up with an upright sitting position. Early theropods are nearly horizontal while a t-rex on the other hand ends up sitting more in between. Birds actually vary wildly depending on the type of bird perching birds in particular do not sit.

For non-avian theropods in the sitting position they actually have 3-4 point contact, the pelvis (pubic boot) and both feet rest at the same level as the boot, with the tail on the ground or not depending on the species (most are a yes). You can look at the first image for the sitting position and the other two for the anatomy supporting that posture.

Because of this position a raptor chair is likely nothing more than a cushion on floor. Think along the lines of traditional Japanese furniture. By raptor I am assuming you means something like velociraptor or deinonychus and not an eagle. Note: however they need a lot of clearance behind them for the tail, in many species it is rigid for most of its length, in others especially the oviraptors it is shorter and more flexible. so unlike a bird they need need a lot of space behind them. For a vehicle there could be a lowered section of floor for feet forward and down from the seat, yielding something more like a motorcycle seat for the pubic boot to sit on.

A safety seat will likely have a flattened bar of metal running up along the stomach to anchor the torso against tilting forward, they can be strapped into that safely. Building true safety seats will be much harder than for humans. protecting the head in particular will be problematic since it is at the end of a long neck, whiplash will be a big problem. I can't think of a way to protect the head that does not prevent them from looking from side to side, the best I can think of is some kind of safety cable attached to the ceiling that prevents over extension. Really it depends on what you mean by safety seat, the seat for a car vs a rocket will be very different.

As a side note the sitting position is likely also the sleeping position, many birds tuck the head into the armpit to sleep and raptors definitely have the neck for it. the position and flexibility of the arms makes resting on the stomach unlikely. I can imagine tool using raptors inventing elevated wooden stands with a pillow on it for resting the head.

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Source 1

source 2

PS I know thistle's wrists are broken, but that is irrelevant for the discussion.


Big birds sit on their heels, not on their butts. They also have no nads.

Sitting ostrich

Another sitting ostrich

So what you need is some sort of platform where they can fit their legs heel to toes, and which is comfortable to get onto and off. A regular human bench would do the trick, specially if you elongate the bench a little.

Some benches used by humans would serve nicely as well. This could site a few of them around a table:

A table for birdoids

What you don't is a rest for the back. That would be useless at best, and a nuisance at worst.

Also take a look at this other question. It is only tangentially related, but could give you some inspiration:

Could winged humanoids perch on public transit?

  • $\begingroup$ birds and earlier theropod dinosaurs have very different pelvic structures their sitting positions will not be the same. $\endgroup$
    – John
    Feb 20, 2019 at 15:03
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @John when the OP says raptor, I think velociraptor, which lived in the late Cretaceous and had an anatomy much closer to avians than earlier theropods had. $\endgroup$ Feb 20, 2019 at 15:42
  • $\begingroup$ but not in the pelvis, birds have an open pelvis, non avian theropods do not. $\endgroup$
    – John
    Feb 20, 2019 at 15:46

A Bowl (modified appropriately)

What first came to my mind while reading this question's title was a nest many are bowl shaped). After reading the full details of the question, I realized that a nest doesn't quite fit, so I started thinking "which birds seem to have the most "comfortable" (by human stndards) places to rest their body weight while taking weight off of their legs?" And the answer to that question is Ducks floating in the water.

How is this applicable to the question? By taking the shape of the indentation the Duck makes in the water (basically an elongated bowl), and making it solid, then poke holes for their legs.

This concept can be modified (lengthened, widened, deepened, inclined), as needed, depending on the exact body structure of the actual species, to be almost universally applicable to any animal with this general type of body structure.

Also, just like human sitting options, they can range from very generic to very specific. For example, an actual bowl with no holes at all, and with a main shape only loosely specific to the general body form of the species, would be comparable to something like a human bench or stool, while on the other end of the spectrum a bowl could be specifically contoured, flexible, with holes of variable size and or position, adjustible inclination, etc., could be similar to a high quality office chair.

BONUS 1: it's very simple to run a strap (or 2) from one side of the bowl, over the back of the theropod, to the other side, as a safety harness

BONUS 2: Holes for the legs frees up appendages for manipulating tools, as requseted


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