I'm wondering how sustenance farming would work for them; what nutritional requirements a hollow-boned race would have. They have feathered wings, so they'll need to be able to produce more keratin than a human, which means food would have to be rich in protein and vitamin A, and it has to be able to be grown at high altitudes. Are there any vegetable or grain crops that fit these criteria?

I'm writing a story on the soft side of the Sci-Fi Hardness Scale, so I'm more interested in dietary culture than the logistics of flying humanoids.

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    $\begingroup$ I'm not really sure, but as I recall a lot of mountains have the so-called tree line, above which it gets scrubby and above that just moss if anything at all. I think you will have to specify what "high-altitude" means. $\endgroup$ – ozone Jun 28 '17 at 17:35
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    $\begingroup$ Dietary requirements and high altitude crops in one question? Please ask one thing per question. $\endgroup$ – Mołot Jun 28 '17 at 17:53
  • $\begingroup$ en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tibet $\endgroup$ – Vincent Jun 28 '17 at 18:07
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    $\begingroup$ What's wrong with ambrosia and nectar? That's what Greek divinities derived sustenance from; while we don't have any specific knowledge about Semitic angels, I suppose that, as Mediterranean divinities, what worked in Greece would probably work in the Levant too; after all, ordinary mortal humans living in Greece and humans living in Palestine eat about the same things. $\endgroup$ – AlexP Jun 28 '17 at 19:20
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    $\begingroup$ If the kinds of crops you are interested in are high altitude (even if a soft preference) feel free to leave a note to that effect in your question. The no-no is asking two questions, not asking a question with weird specifics. $\endgroup$ – The Nate Jun 28 '17 at 19:48

Birds all have hollow bones and they eat all kinds of everything. So your angels can too: whatever you like. These are not the 6 winged angels, by chance? Because if they are, and even if not, I personally think they should eat bugs.

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Depicted is a cochineal farm - those fluffy white bugs they make red dye from. This farm is not at a high elevation but the principle is the same. And in fact cactuses do grow at high elevations, just not with cochineal (I found out as I read).

Yes: big fields of plants, covered with delectable bugs, and at mealtime the angels could flutter out and eat a few handfuls. Or if they were flying bugs hovering over the fields, the angels could swoop back and forth with open mouths, like barn swallows. Unless that would be undignified.

It is worth noting that the original manna from heaven that sustained the Israelites in the desert may have in fact been scale insects or "cactus lice". Which is where this idea came from.

  • $\begingroup$ Hm, but aren't (most, if not all?) insects non-Kosher, and wasn't it during the Exodus that the Kosher laws were levied? $\endgroup$ – Michael Jun 28 '17 at 19:02
  • $\begingroup$ Ah, I just looked it up. Grasshoppers and a certain type of locust were exempt, although scale insects are neither of those. $\endgroup$ – Michael Jun 28 '17 at 19:09
  • $\begingroup$ Interesting re kosher and the manna. Maybe a question for the Mi Yodeya stack! $\endgroup$ – Willk Jun 28 '17 at 19:57
  • $\begingroup$ Yes - and certainly not the point here, sorry for the slight tangent, but the cultural context may be of interest to the OP depending on his story. $\endgroup$ – Michael Jun 28 '17 at 20:50

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