0
$\begingroup$

Would an aerial mount similar to the Mountain Banshee from Avatars Pandora be physically possible to ride in any possible planetary environment? And if so what sort of world would that be? Assume earth-like but with modifications as per the film. Assume the creature can be controlled or is cooperative.

banshee

$\endgroup$

closed as too broad by L.Dutch, sphennings, Mołot, MichaelK, Frostfyre Oct 2 '17 at 12:54

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ "any possible planetary situation" is too broad. Can you narrow down to a specific situation? $\endgroup$ – L.Dutch Sep 30 '17 at 19:45
  • $\begingroup$ With the restriction that its at least vaguely Earth-like. I didn't want to be to restrictive as I suspect its a tall order. Do you think thats still do broad? $\endgroup$ – Slarty Sep 30 '17 at 19:53
  • $\begingroup$ Probabaly one like Pandora with lower gravity and a thicker atmosphere. $\endgroup$ – rclev Sep 30 '17 at 20:57
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Just to make sure - Pandora also had the floating Unobtainium mineral (that's what allowed the floating rocks IIRC). This shouldn't be a part of a valid answer to this question - right? (if you just handwave into your world anti-G organs/bones, this becomes much less interesting, and not very useful for a physics/science-based answer...) $\endgroup$ – G0BLiN Oct 1 '17 at 14:30
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ "any possible planetary environment" and "Assume earth-like but with modifications" seem to be at odds with each other. $\endgroup$ – a CVn Oct 1 '17 at 15:17
2
$\begingroup$

Probably with a thick enough atmosphere and low enough gravity, but I'm bumping for a much greater wingspan as well, I don't think 14m is enough. Pandora has an atmosphere 20% denser than Earth and 20% less gravity to go with it.

The problem as I see it is that in order to have evolved a wingspan great enough to support its own weight and that of a rider it has to predate something at least as large as it's rider, so any prospective rider is also a prospective snack, this makes domestication rather problematic in the normal run of things. In Avatar they cheat with a direct neural interface and even then they do note that the Ikran do their level best to kill their riders on first introduction. Haast Eagles are probably the only fliers in Earth's recent history that would do the job and I wouldn't get close enough to one of those to try taming it for love nor money.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ On the other hand, on Earth, wolves are pretty good predators yet humans managed to both tame and domesticate them. (I'm not saying this is exactly the same thing; rather, just to show that just because a predator can kill you doesn't mean training or domestication can't be done.) $\endgroup$ – a CVn Oct 1 '17 at 15:19
  • $\begingroup$ @MichaelKjörling but humans was never "default" snack for wolves. Neither we were their natural enemies most of the time. I'm sure that helped quite a lot. $\endgroup$ – Mołot Oct 1 '17 at 15:41
  • $\begingroup$ @Mołot Certainly true. If OP really wants to use a creature that defaults to figuring the rider as a snack or even prey in general, I'm sure that will cause difficulties all on its own; but that'd be regardless of whether one tries to ride on their backs or not. $\endgroup$ – a CVn Oct 1 '17 at 15:50
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @MichaelKjörling You have a definite point, my personal feeling is that it's more a case of Tiger or Leopard than Wolf in the case of Birds of Prey; a solitary hunter with no pack instinct that tends to go for what it can get when it can get it, in the way of prey, that makes them next to impossible to domesticate. The Ikran do seem a little more communal than Earth's Eagles, possibly more like Vultures? That might help. $\endgroup$ – Ash Oct 1 '17 at 15:59

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.