Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 174 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Visit Stack Exchange

Questions tagged [avian]

For questions about birds and birdlike creatures. Does not include machines designed for flying (consider [airships], [aircraft], [spaceships]). Consider also [flight].

18
votes
5answers
4k views

Could crystals grow on living things?

A friend and I are creating a magical bird that eats gemstones then uses them to form a thin coat of crystal armor over its body. Is there any way for this bird (or any living thing) to actually have ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Is the Avian species from the game Starbound plausible?

I apologize if this question is not written up to standards, I am rather new to this site. I have been an avid fan of chucklefish's acclaimed sandbox title, Starbound, for a number of years now and ...
2
votes
3answers
128 views

Campaign Warfare in Avian Species [closed]

For this avian species, imagine a race of Hoatzin-like animals, with gripping appendages on their wings. The birds generally live in nest groups, building large communal nests. They are also larger ...
6
votes
2answers
107 views

Avian adaptation to microgravity and low gravity environments

I like to hear the sound of birds when I travel amongst my orbital and planetary habitats scattered around the outer system. Most of these settlements are very densely populated - what you might ...
2
votes
2answers
114 views

A Raptorial Parrot

This scenario is based on the kea, the world's only alpine parrot. Even though it eats plants like other parrots, it also eats meat, and therefore could be New Zealand's answer to the smaller diurnal ...
4
votes
1answer
131 views

How would Levers or Switches look, in a world of Birds with expandable beaks?

So you may know Pokio from Mario Odyssey. If not: It's a more-or-less round bird with a cone shaped beak. it can "poke" it out (basically expanding/scaling it) as an attack. The bird climbs by ...
13
votes
4answers
288 views

Is there any natural material that could be used to make fireproof feathers?

The general idea I'm looking to support here is that of a bird that produces a natural grease/oil that covers its feathers, similar to real-world waterfowl. Assume the purpose of this oil is to be lit ...
6
votes
1answer
133 views

Metal-Feathered Macaw Viability Part 2: Best Wing Shape?

More posts from this thread are here: Metal-Feathered Macaw Viability Part 1: How Can It Fly? Info See this previous question to learn about the premise. We now know, via this amazing answer, ...
-3
votes
1answer
87 views

How large would an African Grey Parrot have to be to be smarter than the average human? [closed]

African Grey Parrots are touted as the smartest genus of birds around, and have been shown to possess cognitive skills comparable to those of 4- to 6-year-old human children, in spite of only weighing ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Could Crows be used for Recon

Unit Info: On a fallen world that has firearms and combustible fuels. Society is still advanced in a way, but is more tribal/feudal in nature. One nation has an armed order called the Iron Guard that ...
15
votes
14answers
5k views

What is the most effective use of phoenixes in battle? [closed]

Phoenixes are sentient - willing allies, rather than beasts to be used. The size of a mature phoenix is comparable to a teratorn. They can do the usual resurrection thing, but a phoenix fresh out of ...
10
votes
7answers
666 views

Four legs vs two legs

How would a four-legged bird's flight differ from a regular two-legged one? Would it be slower in flight but have more power taking off? The bird in question is modeled on a bird of prey. (four legs ...
0
votes
1answer
173 views

Speed of flying bird [closed]

If you had a bird which was large enough to ride, how fast could it fly? I need this information to work out the scale for my maps as i know how long it takes for one of the birds to fly from A to B.
10
votes
2answers
2k views

How will birds be different on a <1g world?

First, I guess the conditions of the world are in order. It's approximately 85% the mass of earth and there is going to be a full ecosystem with all the usual types of bugs, insects, trees, and ...
0
votes
0answers
87 views

Human-Avian Hybrid wing span and muscle position [duplicate]

I'm writing a book and my main character is A Human-Avian hybrid, i would like to know an estimate the wing-span of a grown one the size of an middle aged man. the hybrid is on a earth like planet and ...
10
votes
2answers
476 views

Could a hexapodal bat actually fly?

Sequel to this question. Basically, I've been designing an intelligent avian race based on bats. After reading through some of the answers for the linked question, I've decided that these bats will ...
1
vote
2answers
125 views

What is the most useful adaptation of feathers for a bird living underground like a mole? [closed]

The specific bird in this instance is a kiwi, adapting to life underground as a mole like organism. Would their feathers grow finer and act as sensory hair like structures to "see" while digging? If ...
10
votes
5answers
3k views

Could you make Bat wings shaped like the different kinds of Bird wings?

I've been designing an an intelligent, bat-inspired avian race, and I've been struck with a question that I need answered. Now, I want to have these bats to fulfill different types of ecological ...
7
votes
2answers
202 views

How do the buildings of humanoid birds differ from human buildings?

I have bird-like race that I'm writing about, but I have no idea what their houses will be like. I have few things decided already, however, which are as follows : They are NOT migratory. Though they ...
27
votes
6answers
3k views

Ergonomically correct eagle riders in the modern age

Since Tolkien put people riding on giant eagles in his books (or maybe even before that), the imaginarium of riding the winds on the back of magnificent birds has generated a plethora of images and ...
9
votes
3answers
286 views

Are talons and beak good enough for advanced manipulation?

I know that birds like crows and parrots can use basic tools, and some questions on the site have stated that re-evolving hands isn't worth the trouble/is outright impossible. However crows don't ...
23
votes
14answers
7k views

Possible cause of a world without flying animals

Consider an earth-like world without any flying species. What could be the possible (I'm looking for a physics or chemistry/biology answer) cause of this? Set aside trivial solutions as "random ...
3
votes
3answers
254 views

Will my bird likely be able to fly in this atmosphere on this planet?

I'm working on a species of large bird, and trying to determine whether they will be able to fly or not. I know that this equation likely applies: $$ A = \cfrac{L}{\cfrac{1}{2} v^2 \rho C_L} $$ ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Would Angels be able to dye their wings?

On Earth, hair has become little more than a tool of identity, and many people around the world have taken to dying their hair various colors to go with their style. Let's say I have a species of ...
19
votes
10answers
3k views

What might cause (physically) large predatory birds to form large (in terms of numbers) flocks?

I've got a reasonably large species of predatory bird; mostly inspired by falcons, but larger. To give an idea of its physical size, my current working draft (which may very well change) is for a wing ...
27
votes
6answers
4k views

War eagles, feasible?

Let's assume that there's a species of eagles that's about the size of an Andean Condor (about 3m wingspan, 1.5m length, 10kg) and that there's a culture that has managed to tame this creature (or ...
6
votes
1answer
271 views

What are some assumptions we could make about the linguistics of a civilization evolved from birds?

Suppose they have non-flexible beaks, but they still posses vocal cords and a tongue capable of producing the same sounds as humans. Variation of these bird-people are as follows: What types of sound ...
23
votes
12answers
8k views

Would we notice ridiculously healthy birds?

Consider the following situation: Over the last 2 to 3 years, all the world's birds and bats outside of those in human captivity or domestication have stopped getting sick; sick - even terminally sick ...
1
vote
2answers
265 views

Could a race of bird people defend themselves against humans? [closed]

So there’s a society of evolved birds, roughly the size of humans but still very much birds. They have a similar level of intelligence as ourselves and are able to speak human language similar to a ...
0
votes
1answer
181 views

Viability of an upper-jaw-only beak?

Say we have an organism with the beak of a raptor (the bird type, not the dinosaur), but instead of a full beak, it only has a mandible on the upper jaw, while the lower jaw just has a jaw bone like ...
5
votes
2answers
148 views

The Western Birds--Ideal Substitutes to the Penguins?

Anytime one thinks "flightless bird" and "aquatic bird" put together, one would immediately think of Sphenisciformes, the penguins. But during the Late Cretaceous, there swam a different kind of ...
7
votes
5answers
771 views

What would cause turkeys to be intelligent?

In the spirit of Thanksgiving (US) let's tackle a fun one. I'm defining "intelligent" in this situation as "at least on par with hunter-gatherer humans, able to communicate" What natural, ...
8
votes
4answers
547 views

Could the Hoatzins wings evolve into arms

The Hoatzin is a jungle bird whose only remarkable trait, other than looking fabulous, is that their wings have fingers. Is it possible that these wing fingers could evolve into arms? What about ...
4
votes
1answer
259 views

Planet of the Aves: Tool use

On the planet of the Aves, birds have evolved to dominate the Earth instead of mammals. Of the thousands of species in this world, both on the ground and in the water, the only one to develop sapience ...
5
votes
3answers
505 views

Planet of the Aves: Medieval Armor

In a world I am building, birds have become the dominant order instead of mammals. Among all of the birds, the New Caledonian Crow has become the dominant sapient species. In a previous question, I ...
-2
votes
5answers
175 views

What would not be enjoyable about being a bird or having wings? [closed]

This is for a screen play I'm writing. Basically, one character spots a bird and wonders what it'd be like to fly. The second character has the power to access other people's senses so she subtly ...
11
votes
2answers
497 views

Planet of the Aves: Aquabirds

In my world, instead of mammals, birds have become the dominant order. Similar to how Quadrabirds replaced the grazing mammals; Aquabirds will take up the niche cetaceans occupy. My goal is that the ...
12
votes
5answers
567 views

Planet of the Aves: Quadrabirds

In the world I am designing, instead of mammals, birds are the dominant species. In this world, replacing the niche of deer gazelle and cattle are a group of animals known as Quadrabirds. These are ...
8
votes
4answers
537 views

Planet of the Aves: First Steps

On our own world, following the fall of the dinosaurs, mammals became the dominant class. This was caused by a cluster of factors, such as the rapidly changing temperatures and their ability to adapt. ...
7
votes
6answers
796 views

Using feathers as fingers

Recently, I've been struggling to create an avian race that evolved hands to replace its wings. The consensus on that question was that it was not evolutionarily realistic for the bones of a wing to ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Evolving an intelligent avian race with a human-like appearance

Having read this excellent question and its answers, I've tried to come up with an evolutionary history for a sapient, avian race that populates part of a world I'm building. I'd like feedback as to ...
33
votes
7answers
15k views

Could a large bird be used as transportation?

Sometimes I reminisce about the giant eagles from The Lord of the Rings and two things come to mind: Boy, I wish I could have my own giant eagle! Could a bird even carry something that heavy on its ...
5
votes
3answers
567 views

Creating a fully aquatic bird

I was wondering if a full aquatic bird could exist and not be on, or return to land at any developmental stage, basically, to be completely independent of land. I already know that there are some ...
9
votes
6answers
518 views

Making Beaks More like Hands

For a highly intelligent avian dinosaur whose grasping and manipulating appendages have all but vanished, there are options : for the species to evolve beaks that are better fine manipulators, or ...
6
votes
5answers
679 views

Wing-design for a Bird that Needs No Lift

Due to a reason that we don't need to get into (or explain), some large birds have developed the ability to float. There is no scientific explanation to how they can float, it's just happened and we ...
7
votes
3answers
669 views

Is it possible for birds to use rudimentary technology to build simple infrastructure and weaponry?

If I have a civilization of birds, could they, in and of themselves, create an infrastructure of "advanced nests"? Could they build weaponry? These birds, raptors, have an educational system, ...
9
votes
1answer
248 views

Humanity With Avian Lungs

In mammals - and that includes us humans - the lungs make up 7% of the total body volume. This allows us to inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide, thanks to the pulmonary alveoli. But bird lungs ...
7
votes
1answer
888 views

How would the Lilim live?

Background In my magical version of Earth's history, at around the time that humans became anatomically modern 200,000 years ago, a variant of the human female gender arose with batlike wings around ...
27
votes
7answers
3k views

How could bird people map the air?

For sentient avians, knowing the location and behavior of currents in the air would be vitally important. Jet streams, thermals, downdrafts, and shear layers would all be important in their daily ...
5
votes
6answers
813 views

Could a bird be a match for a small airship?

Could a large, aggressive bird of prey take an aircraft the size and weight of two motorcycles out of the sky? The bird is about the size of a child, but has sentient intellect. If it got through the ...