These creatures are a mix of a marsupial and a bird. It has a stronger frame than birds on earth, and are very large. These birds are inspired by the extinct moa. They are hunted by thunderbirds and Griffins, and run along the ground. Females carry their eggs in pouches on their sides, along with food. Males also have pouches, but they only carry food. Males can carry about 100 lbs., while females can carry twice that much. Their wings are used primarily to cover these pouches when full, so as to prevent spoiling of the food inside. Males and females bond for life, and these birds normally travel in small herds of 3-6.

(I want the females to be able to carry an average human male.) With their large size, and potential carrying capacity, would these creatures be suitable for use by humans? Would the fact that they're birds be a deterrent?

For all of those who are interested here is some history of my world. There is no evolution of mythological creatures, although they have adapted slightly to survive.

A long time ago, the sun began to grow distant. The people of the time feared for the safety of their world, so they convinced the great wizards to undergo the great reformation. The planet was reformed using magic, and it could now sustain life indefinitely. However, all the Wizards perished due t the great duress they underwent. They were also not able to protect all the creatures, so some got thrown together, and many new creatures and plants were created. Hence the existence of unicorns, griffins, dragons, etc.

  • $\begingroup$ Bird slash marsupial?! What? I think a mammal is nothing like a bird, beyond the shared traits of eing a vertibrate. $\endgroup$ – JDługosz Jan 15 '16 at 5:15
  • $\begingroup$ Just keep reading, I explain why this thing exists. $\endgroup$ – Xandar The Zenon Jan 15 '16 at 5:15
  • $\begingroup$ You mean they have "wings" and they have carrying pouches, but nothing more "like" than those single traits? The whole point of a marsupial is to not have eggs so that's a contradiction. Wings as brood blankets appear to be the original function so that's inspired. $\endgroup$ – JDługosz Jan 15 '16 at 5:20
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    $\begingroup$ Yes, just say pouches, not all this stuff too. You might edit to organize (here's the creature design) then (would they be worth domesticating) (what would the unique issues be compared to familiar animals) $\endgroup$ – JDługosz Jan 15 '16 at 5:30
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    $\begingroup$ I think he's asking whether such a creature would be physically possible from an existence perspective (like the Flying Cow Question), not whether it is physically possible that these animals could come about without magic. "What would they have to be like in order to not break the laws of physics", not "what would have to happen in order for these animals to exist in the first place". You guys are focusing far too much on the latter. $\endgroup$ – Ieuan Stanley Jan 15 '16 at 10:18

The bird should have no problem carrying people. People ride ostriches and even race them enter image description here

Now compare the ostrich to the Moa and you have a much larger bird.enter image description here

Assuming that the birds are trainable, I see no reason that they couldn't be used by humans for transportation. (I am assuming you mean ride them on the ground, not flying).

Oh, and as far as the pouches are concerned, they are just a moving 'nest', since it is 'safer' to keep the eggs and young on the move from predators. This would be one of the pluses to domesticate them, and use them as pack animals.

  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, but ostrich riding is detrimental to the ostrich. And no, wings are vestigial pouch lids. $\endgroup$ – Xandar The Zenon Jan 15 '16 at 14:33
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    $\begingroup$ Riding any animal is detrimental to it, unless it is so large your weight doesn't matter (like an elephant), but after years of breeding it wouldn't be near the problem. The Moa is also a much larger bird so riding would be a smaller issue. $\endgroup$ – bowlturner Jan 15 '16 at 14:37

This could work. We can ride ostriches and these birds should be able to do the same without issue. Something to consider is if these are tamed (wild animals that have been made subservient) or domesticated (we have been breeding them for generations to suit us better, e.g. less aggressive). It would make sense if we bred them to perhaps be stockier, in order to carry more or to be more athletic, for greater speed. This could make it more feasible, as we've been doing this with horses for millennia.

As a quick extra, you could have designated pouches for food and young. Male penguins can store food in their stomachs and preserve it with a special enzyme, turning the fish into "fish jerky", allowing it to be stored for extended periods.

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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to WorldBuilding! The addition of using the pouch for food sounds interesting. Do you have any sources, where one could best start reading up on this? Maybe it would be good to provide such a link and a short summary to differentiate your answer from the existing one. If you have a moment please take the tour and visit the help center to learn more about the site. Have fun! $\endgroup$ – Secespitus Apr 7 '17 at 13:21
  • $\begingroup$ I learned this watching an episode of SciShow on YouTube titled: 8 Creative Ways Animals Store Food $\endgroup$ – RenegadePizzaGuy Apr 7 '17 at 13:32
  • $\begingroup$ You can use the little "edit"-button at the end to edit your answer. It would be nice if you could link to that source and maybe write a sentence or two about the content of the link. $\endgroup$ – Secespitus Apr 7 '17 at 13:43
  • $\begingroup$ And much like with horses, I imagine eventually there'd be different breeds of these birds better suited to particular tasks. $\endgroup$ – Michael Apr 7 '17 at 15:22

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