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58

Heights would not be dangerous Because there is little risk of injury from falling, the creatures would not suffer from vertigo. Our skyscrapers have walls around them to stop people from falling. Non-structural guards would not be required. Birds quite happily perch in locations that would be terrifying for a human. A pigeon will sit on the windowsill of ...


42

Dodos as you describe looks more like asset than a problem, better than big sack of grains. Plant large number of traps in crops for dodos, use crops as baits. Most dodo attacks would be at ripping season, you would gather more meat than required, so you will need to consider some meat preservation tech. as your climate is tropical.


41

I decided to try to extrapolate from some known data. I used various sources to find that: The Harpy Eagle at 6 to 9 kg can lift a Three-Toed Sloth of 3.5 to 4.5 kg A Peregrine Falcon of 0.3 to 1.0 kg can lift a feral Pigeon of 0.25 to 0.4 kg An adult Human is typically somewhere around 60 to 100 kg The largest (known) bird ever was Argetavis magnificens, ...


39

Professional ornithologists and conservationists would definitely notice. They would probably realize that something is going on within a few years. There is a large community of bird watchers, and a smaller community of professional ornithologists, such as the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. They have a citizen science program. Each day, bird watchers ...


39

The first flying insects appeared (as far as we know) in the Devonian, some 400 million years ago. Before that there were no flying animals. So not only is a world without flying animals possible, our own Earth was such a world for more than 90% of its history. The catch is that flight emerged as a life strategy almost as soon as there were animals living ...


37

It's known as Biomineralization Biomineralization is the formation of complexes containing inorganic materials by living organisms. This occurs in organs as diverse as bone, teeth, egg shells, and invertebrate exoskeletons. Calcium is a very “popular” biomineral, occurring for example, as phosphates in vertebrate skeletons and carbonates in ...


36

Yes. Let the image explain itself. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. According to the 1920 edition of Popular Science magazine, there was a tourist attraction in Florida that allowed passengers to ride an ostrich, and they determined that the carrying capacity be 150 pounds, which is realistic for a light ...


33

Feathers can be dyed just like hair or skin or leather or fabric; this is really common knowledge. Feather dyeing has been practiced all over the world for a very long time. Here is photo of a Hawaiian 'ahu'ula, or feather cape, made of dyed feathers and cotton for Queen Kapi'olani in 1882: (Photograph by Wally Gobetz on Flickr; available under CC-BY-NC-ND-...


29

I'm by no means sure of this, biology is not my wheelhouse, but I would think that the most likely "solution" in this case is that the Cockatrice reproduces by introducing a live-born predatory infant into the eggs of prey species. This tiny creature then burrows into the shell, attaches itself to the inside to seal the egg and halt evaporation and then ...


28

Discounting the problematic flying fish, flight has evolved 4 separate times that we know of. Insects, 400 million years ago Pterosaurs, 230 million years ago Birds, 150 million years ago Bats, 50 million years ago. Given that we are considering "an earth-like world" with similar gravity and atmospheric composition, there is one one common denominator to ...


28

Logistics - cut off the enemies supply lines Your front fighters might very well be able to hold off a phoenix or two and you don't want to send it all of them at once - if the enemy has a secret weapon that you know nothing about your army would completely lose their will to fight if their holy symbols are killed all at once - but the enemy supply lines ...


25

Intelligence doesn't require opposable thumbs. Civilization does require multiple species. When thinking about animal intelligence, it’s hard to keep our biases out of it. There’s a tendency to apply the human evolutionary story living in many of the answers to this question. That’s not unreasonable. Humanity seems like the most intelligent species and ...


25

I'm going to have to disagree with Monty on this one. While the wings would be added weight and would potentially create more drag, comparing bird biology to biplanes is downright folly. Consider that almost all flying insects use multiple pairs of wings to produce lift. Flies not only have ridiculous acrobatic ability due to their ability to swing their ...


25

Maps They would probably use something similar to our pilots. A winds aloft map. These maps describe the prevailing wind. While wind from moment to moment can be going many different directions, that's mostly only true very near the ground. Away from the ground the winds are much more consistent and powerful (this is why wind turbines are built to be so ...


25

The cities would be the first to notice. And I mean really notice. Seagulls Welcome to my home city of Aberdeen on the north-east coast of Scotland, the 'oil capitol of Europe', which really should be better known for its seagulls. The local politicians have recently issued a warning over upcoming 'Seagull wars' expected by the city council as residents ...


25

There are a number of ways they could be used, but maybe not in ways you would expect. The biggest problem with military birds is that they can't be armored enough to protect them from archers. Any armor that could deflect an arrow is going to be too heavy, or just plain in the way. Birds of that size are going to make a substantial target, very inviting ...


25

They will not sit on the bird, for (at least) two reasons. First, sitting is going to create a lot of aerodynamic drag, resulting in a bird that tires quickly. Thats why jockeys and bike racers lean over their handlebars, and - to pick something closer - why people who fly hang gliders do so in a prone position: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hang_gliding ...


23

1. Guard dog. You could train a dog to patrol the fields and chase out the dodos. That is dog work. If a cat shows up too that will be fine. 2. Copy the indigenes. You mention a nearby indigenous nation. Pay them a visit. They live with dodos too. How are they doing it?


20

It really depends, as Jarred mentioned in his comment if observation cancels and removes the effect it's not likely humans will realise anything is amiss. However, I'm not sure making birds super healthy would really increase their lifespan at all (and cause any effect for people to notice). Take this for example: https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/...


20

I posit that a good reason for such birds flocking would be: cooperative attack on a large land animal that no single bird could attack successfully by itself. Imagine your birds, preying in packs on lions or even elephants....


19

The factors that naturally selected humans (or more to the point, earlier primates/hominids) for increasing intelligence are somewhat speculative, but I think any of the following is plausible enough for world-building. Or any combination consecutively or concurrently: tool use complex communication maintaining large numbers of individual relationships in ...


19

Hawks of many species do form large flocks. They do it during migration. From http://www.hmana.org/veracruz-mexico-river-of-raptors-tour/ Migration flocks occur with other birds too. I presume it is easier to find the way - the strength of the mass mind.


18

Castles built to defend Avians from other Avian races would likely be built below ground. Either in cliff sides or in mountain crevices. However, these natural terrain formations will not always be options. Depending on the terrain, the Avians may build their fortifications as great shafts cut through the earth into bedrock. Lined with either cut stone or ...


18

First of all, most birds don't chew. They beak, dig and stomp. But don't chew. Rodents are nasty chewing beasts, but not birds. Parrots seems to be chewing (credits @Starfish Prime for pointing this out). Your options: reinforced fences (dig well underground to install them) as passive mean. competitors as active mean: rats, pigs, foxes, dogs. We have ...


17

Let me introduce you to the Harris Hawk. If you've ever been to a bird of prey centre or display they may be familiar to you as they are regularly used in falconry due to their intelligence and sociability. They are the only bird of prey known to hunt regularly as a group, admittedly of 2 to 7 rather than the large flock you are imagining, but it's a start. ...


16

Presuming the bird can fly higher than an archer can shoot an arrow; you can use them for artillery if nothing else: Eagles have sharp eyesight and superb positional awareness in the air (they know when they are precisely over a fish in the water far below, in order to dive for it); and most birds can readily carry about 50% of their weight in flight; birds ...


15

Calcium pyrophosphate. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calcium_pyrophosphate It does not burn, as you might guess from its structure - it is already almost completely oxidized. Calcium pyrophosphate occurs in healthy organisms in small quantities as a byproduct of metabolic activities. calcium pyrophosphate deposition disease is a type of "crystal ...


14

The bait ball mechanism is a plausible way that would encourage birds to form up. While this occurs in the oceans to an aquatic species, nothing prevents the analogy from being drawn to the air. Sardines normally migrate in large schools of millions of individuals. This makes them an attractive target for predators, which gang up on the bait ball and ...


14

There will be little difference. The lower atmospheres are the same. Let's assume that the atmospheric pressure, $P$, follows a simple exponential scale height model: $$P=P_0\exp\left(-\frac{z}{H}\right)$$ where $P_0$ is the pressure at ground level, $z$ is altitude, and $H$ is the scale height, given by $$H\equiv\frac{kT}{Mg}\propto\frac{1}{g}$$ We can ...


13

Well, this probably starts with diving birds that gave up flying. We have example species for that already, such as penguins. To stay in water for long periods, they're going to need to grow larger so that they can carry a thick layer of insulation, such as blubber: all the example aquatic mammals we have are fairly large for just this reason. Being small ...


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