The Taragryff, also known as the Carrier Hawk, is a massively large eagle that is often used as a sort of flying mount by those who are able to properly train them. Additionally, they have been used to carry small cargo loads between nations before the advent of sailing. These magnificent birds of prey have a nearly twenty five foot wingspan, and can reach aerial speeds of nearly forty miles per hour with a cargo load. If unburdened, they have been recorded at peak speeds of over one hundred miles per hour. During the The Hundred Year War , taragryffs were slaughtered en-masse by mercenaries due to their ability to carry soldiers, armor, weapons, etc. to pivotal war locations. Over sixty percent were killed, dwindling their population drastically over the years to it's current low numbers.
Taragryffs share the same skeletal structure and body features as their other Aquila cousins. Their main difference lies in their size - standing roughly ten feet tall, with an average 25 ft wingspan. Their wings are highly muscular, but still remain relatively lightweight. Each individual talon on their claws can be as large as eight inches, and their back talon is specialized with small serrations to cut into meat.
Females are often larger than the males, being a foot taller and longer. Males however, can have a wider coloration on their plumage as a sort of breeding incentive. Pairs will mate for life, and on average, have five to seven chicks in their lifespan (one egg every four years or so).
Genetics and Reproduction
Gestation (including incubation) takes just under eight months on average.
Growth Rate & Stages
At birth, Taragryff chicks are about the same size as a human infant. However, they grow quite fast, and within a year, are human-sized and in their adolescent period, where they will learn to fly and fend for themselves. After another year, they will grow into their full size, and leave their birth region for a new one.
Ecology and Habitats
The warm locations of Ilysia, Aldren, and Moongrin are perfect for these eagles. Fossil records indicate that Plenn may have also been a breeding ground.
Dietary Needs and Habits
With such a large bird comes a large appetite. Like other eagles, Taragryffs are entirely carnivorous, and their diets consist of bison, cattle, bear, giant eel, giant squid, whales, and if provoked and hungry enough, humans, Megeri, and Dae.
These birds often hibernate as soon as winter approaches. However, some small numbers instead fly to Moongrin where the the weather is warmer and does not frost.
Humans have found ways to domesticate these birds with great results. Through this domestication process, their wings have grown longer and more muscled, their talons have shrunk smaller (down to six inches from around eight). Additionally, their backs have grown flatter for specialized saddles.
Uses, Products & Exploitation
Taragryffs have been used as transport animals of both people and trade goods.
Geographic Origin and Distribution
Aldren, Ilysia, Moongrin.
These birds of prey are highly intelligent, being able to be trained to carry out complex tasks with relative ease and proper training. As such, they are often considered to be smarter than some of the more "brainy" dog breeds.
Perception and Sensory Capabilities
Their eyes are one of their strongest sensory organs, being able to pinpoint locations far away with no issue. Additionally, some have proven that these creatures are able to detect ley energies, and even be energized by them to an extent. Of course, they seem to be unable to control the ley energy as a human or Dae would.
Endangered. Several Taragryff sanctuaries have been created in Aldren, Ilysia, and Moongrin to varying levels of success.
Body Tint, Colouring and Marking
Feather coats are often brown or golden, with tail feathers that are tan or white. Their beak is jet black.
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