Thursday, 8 September 2016
Flying Beasts And Flightless Birds
Aycharaych the Chereionite has a crest of feathers and clawed toes and is probably descended from flightless birds;
Diomedeans and Ythrians are intelligent flying species but not birds;
in the latter two cases, it is necessary to explain how a body heavy enough for intelligence is capable of flight.
On Earth, might large flightless birds like moas have become intelligent if not for competition from mammals? Moas lacked forelimbs freed for manipulation. However, birds are related to dinosaurs and raptors did have forelimbs not used for locomotion so maybe intelligent reptiles were more likely than intelligent birds?
Although I cannot think of an equivalent of SM Stirling's moas in Poul Anderson's works, HG Wells wrote a nightmarish short story called "Aepyornis Island."