Ratha's Island 04

By rath8325 - Posted on 18 August 2009

Several ideas and themes came into play. One involved flight. I have been a student pilot and greatly enjoyed it until I ran out of time and money. I had used that background to invent a type of ride-able flying animal, the “aronans” of my novel People of the Sky

I was playing with the concept of a society of bat-winged cheetah-like big cats in a book proposal for a new series. A flying animal the size of a big cat would have to attain a high take-off speed, and cheetahs can hit 70 mph, which is faster than the take-off speed of some light aircraft. Cheetahs are also lightly built and have deep chests. A cheetah-like creature could develop a keel-bone to anchor flight muscles I had great fun developing the creature's structure, lifestyle, society, etc. and building its world, but, unfortunately, the proposal itself didn't fly.

The “Ratha's Creatures” posts in my Scratching Log blog (link) described various Miocene animals the clan either used or encountered. All had been mammals. Because my stepson was raising poultry, and a young friend of mine was taking a class on hawks, I decided to explore Miocene birds, specifically the birds of prey. Did hawks and eagles exist 20 million years ago? I researched the subject, and found that indeed their ancestors did.

Raptors also include vultures and other carrior-eaters. I knew about the giant vultures (Teratornis) found in the LaBrea Tarpits. I was also peripherally aware of a new discovery called Agentavis magnifens, vulture-like bird approaching the size of a Cessna 152 (link). It also belonged to the teratorn family. I became more intrigued with Argentavis,especially when I discovered that it had ancestors in the Miocene, and some fossil evidence showed that the ancestors may have been even larger than Argentavis itself.



Argentavis compared in size to a human


Thistle-chaser Airlines?

OK, I wanted to use this bird in the Named Twitter fiction. An idea bit me and I followed it. What if one of the clan-cats, say, for instance, Thistle-chaser, encountered a young giant teratorn that was abandoned and starving. What if she took care of the bird, raised it, and learned that it was so big that should could ride on it as it flew? Perhaps she could even figure out how to direct it. Thistle-chaser Airlines! It would be a large and unexpected jump in the biological technology of the Named, and great fun to work with.

Random image

CB photo - color

Join other Named Series fans on the Ratha Series Forum.  Hunt up information in the Fire Den, read the new Twitter creation, "Ratha's Island", or strut before the clan to introduce yourself in the Fire Dance.

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