So, an idea I keep coming back to is about a fantasy setting where gryphons are used as mounts.

Obviously, since this is a fantasy setting and such a creature doesn't exist, it can't be "realistic." But could I make it plausible? As in, "what if gryphons were real?"

The most glaring issue to me at first is the food source. I presume that gryphons would be carnivores, and soldiers will need to feed their mounts. Herbivores are better as they can graze and their food lasts longer, while meat spoils?

Is there a way around that? If not, I'm just gonna make them omnivores.

There are lots of other issues, but I'm just going to focus on the feeding of gryphons.

  • $\begingroup$ related worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/q/158775/30492 and worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/q/93952/30492 $\endgroup$
    – L.Dutch
    Jan 9, 2021 at 7:47
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ VTC: Needs Focus. I see at least three separate questions here. Please ask one question at a time. $\endgroup$
    – Matthew
    Jan 9, 2021 at 14:10
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    $\begingroup$ Just so you're aware good sir knight, this is Worldbuilding. We expect (or at least ought to expect) the fantastical. You really don't need to complain about the irreality of gryphons. The only reason I mention this rather than just deleting the sentence on my own is that you really need to edit your question. Or rather: you need to edit your many questions down to a single reasonably well focused question! You've introduced them, so we assume they're real. You don't need to ask whether they're possible. You bring up some good points about feeding habits, which leads me to think... $\endgroup$
    – elemtilas
    Jan 9, 2021 at 18:21
  • $\begingroup$ (cont) ...you could probably roll all your subqueries into one that deals with the care of carnivorous mounts like gryphons. Turn your subquestions into statements of consideration, such as "ideal answers will address the need for fresh meat, layout of stables, potential size of cavalry unit, etc." Until then, asking separate queries will certainly get you closed down! $\endgroup$
    – elemtilas
    Jan 9, 2021 at 18:24
  • $\begingroup$ ...and VTRO now that there is one question 🙂. Since I can't answer right now, one way might be to turn them loose to hunt every day. I'll also note this is less of an issue if gryphon "cavalry" is rare; say, only a dozen units per thousand foot-soldiers. $\endgroup$
    – Matthew
    Jan 11, 2021 at 13:38

1 Answer 1


1. Food source is fish

I like the workaround from How to Train Your Dragon. They had loads of carnivores around but the oceans in the locality were so productive that all the dragons could eat fish. Gryphons are not implausible sea eagles. They are fed on fish or turned loose to hunt.

2. Secure youself!

Suppose I worry I will be thrown off my horse, because it happens a lot. I can make a custom seat to sit in and lash it to my horse - a saddle. I can brace myself with my feet - stirrups. Stirrups also make it safe for me to exert myself from horseback. I can build a protrusion on the saddle to hang on to and limit my foreward movement - a western saddle-type saddlehorn. I could belt myself onto the saddle and would if falling of were sure to kill me.

3. Suitable mount?

Gryphons are lion birds but neither big felids nor birds are good for humans to sit on. Part of the reason is body structure. Part of the reason is that humans are big. A workaround is to make gryphons really big. If they are enough bigger than we are that the additional weight is trivial. I could not ride a puma but I could ride a puma as big as an elephant.

Now this sidesteps completely the fact that you need an obscenely large wingspan to support even the weight of a human, much less a bulky leonine body and a human both.


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