Icon of the Runaway spacecraft

Avian Biology:


Avians are from an oceanic planet, where endothermic, feathered flyers are one of the most successful land-based lifeforms. Since land is limited to a scattering of small islands, the feathered flyers can travel the distances between dry land more easily than flightless or exothermic creatures.

The evolutionary ancestors of the sapient genus of avians are tree climbing critters with grasping hands on both their fore and back limbs. In the sapients, the hindlimbs are specialized to a point where they are used almost entirely for grasping, tool manipulation, and launching into flight. The dramatic speciation of the sapient avians was caused by hundreds of thousands of years of separation by ocean, and fostered by a lack of traumatic events like Earth’s ice age or K-Pg asteroid impact to wipe any of them out. Besides the five major species, there are many subspecies that can successfully breed with one or more of the major species.

Avians have no vertebrae past their lumbar spine, their pelvis is comparable to a frog’s. Although some of the avian species have tails, they’re much less dexterous than an Earth bird’s. The muscles controlling the tail fan are attached to a knob at the end of the pelvis. Their hooked “beak” is actually two tusks, which continuously grow from roots in the skull. They have to be filed down to prevent overgrowth. Since avians don’t chew food, they have a gizzard organ to do the grinding for them. Normally small smooth stones are swallowed to fill the gizzard, but one can also buy ‘designer gastroliths’ as novelties and souvenirs. These are usually non-toxic semi precious stones, but are sometimes (inadvisably) made from cast metal or plastic.

Avians have a bisex reproductive system with an egg-laying sex and an egg-carrying sex, usually referred to in English as brights and duns respectively.

REPRODUCTIONContent warning: genitals, sexual intercourse

Avian Species:

Skimmer avians:

Avg. height brights: 104 cm
Avg. height duns: 112 cm
Wingspan: 2 meters
Population: Roughly 12 billion

Slender avians with long ears, pointed wings like a gull and a tail fan with two points like swallow. The tail is not a true vertebral tail like an earth bird, the fan is controlled by a set of muscles attached to a knob at the end of the pelvis. They are the only living species in the genus with a tail fan in both sexes. Skimmers are by far the most populous avian, both on their homeplanet and in space, but their native range is on the Tiiliitian archipelago and many scattered islands throughout their planet's northern hemisphere.

Flightless avians:

Avg. height brights: 150 cm
Avg. height duns: 160 cm
Population: Roughly 2 billion

Tall, thick boned avians with a decorative tall fan in the brights. They lack the third metacarpal bone that supports the primary wing feathers in their flying cousins, and have greatly reduced secondary and tertiary feathers. Though they lack wings, they are much faster and more agile than other avians on the ground. Their native range is the Hotsuuv continent, the largest landmass on their homeplanet.

Diver avians:

Avg. height brights: 84 cm
Avg. height duns: 92 cm
Wingspan: 1.6 meters
Population: Roughly 1 billion

Stocky black and white avians with short pointed wings like a cormorant. As their name implies they are adept swimmers, and have much denser, oily body feathers than their cousins. Their native range includes the Southern Pole landmass and many scattered islands throughout the southern hemisphere.

Polar avians:

Avg. height brights: 122 cm
Avg. height duns: 130 cm
Wingspan: 2.4 meters
Population: Roughly 5 million

Large fluffy white avians with broad silent wings like an owl. Their native range is the Northern Pole continent.

Pygmy avians:

Avg. height brights: 68 cm
Avg. height duns: 72 cm
Wingspan: About 1.2 meters
Population: Roughly 1.2 million

Diminutive avians with broad notched wings like a sparrow hawk. Their native range is a chain of 5 small tropical volcanic islands in the Northern hemisphere.

Scale Chart:

Evolution and Hybridization:

Because of their watery planet, fossil records are extremely difficult to track and land based ones are often compromised by constant high density developement and redevelopment. The avian family tree may contain other extinct members that have been lost to time.

Of the 5 species, only 6 viable hybrids can be made, and of these hybrids only 3 are fertile and capable of producing sucessful offspring, though not necessarily with their own type of hybrid. Sirawit is a skimmer/flightless hybrid and is thus infertile. Good thing they're not interested in kids or the making thereof.

Unsupervised Mess of Images: