Friday, June 15, 2012

Terror Birds


Giant birds show up pretty frequently in fantasy art. The phorusrhacos and diatryma represent the group in game products, and are joined by fictional giant fightless birds. Check out this size comparison chart, though.  There's a whole untapped range of them:


Check out the size of the beak on Kelenken there.  It's the largest beak on any known bird.  An adventurer killing beak.

Now, all of those guys are sort of the usual suspect flightless carnivores. There's also the extinct Kairuku penguin which stood over 4 feet tall. 

10 comments:

Tim Shorts said...

I always liked putting the big birds in my world. Axebeaks are a favorite of mine, and giant versions of whatever kind of bird (flightless or flightful) are always add a tactical element to a fight. But nothing beats a big ass Roc. I have one of those that rule a mountain range. Here's to big birds on Friday morning.

Trey said...

I'm a giant bird fan too. I've used flightless birds as mounts in more than one setting.

Pat said...

Is that picture implying the penguins hunted and killed a small mosasaur?

Roger the GS said...

Pathfinder has stats for 3 variants of axe beak, including the kelenken as a 5 HD "terror bird." Mius the 3e hit point inflation you are looking at 3HD and d8+1 damage for the basic axebeak.

Sean Robson said...

I love terror-birds, too. It really isn't hard to imagine feathered dinosaurs as their evolutionary antecedent.

@Pat: this is actually a baby icthyosaur, likely washed up on the beach. It is a weird picture though, since ichthyosaurs and penguins didn't co-exist.

Trey said...

@Roger - Thanks for link. Those stats seem about right.

@Sean - They are cool. That was my thought on the pic, too, that they were scavenging, but of course a gulf of time separates the two.

Matt said...

Oh, so giant penguins can't be time travelers? When we people finally drop their outdated prejudices against giant penguins? When?

Trey said...

@Matt - You make a lot of sense. And to think, I fell for Sean's anti-penguin scientific agenda!

garrisonjames said...

Giant penguins are cool. Tekeli Li! Terror birds are even cooler. Especially this Kelenken beasty--definitely going to have to add-in a few more sub-types of these guys to our games. But even scarier are the psychic/spell-casting emus, rheas and ostriches...

seaofstarsrpg said...

Hmm, I needed a strange monster or two for the campaign I am just starting up. Why not some terror birds? It has the added benefit of being slightly ironic.