Perrots

Perrots are the largest and most intelligent species of Parrots in the Cylinder. Together with fifteen other species of jungle birds, they are part of the Ara genus. Perrots are characterized by their large head, their crest, and their general intelligence. They live everywhere in the Cylinder, and are known to take part in multiple humans and bird civilizations.   Perrots are known to live up to more than 80 years. Their major diet consist in seeds and vegetables, for which their strong curved bill is very adapted. However, modern Perrots are also well known for their refined cuisine, blending multiple textures in fulfilling meals.   Like all birds, Perrots have a morphology that is perfectly adapted to flight. They have lightweight bones, very strong upper muscles, and long wings. Perrots are very vividly coloured, with a wide array of colour variation among ethnic groups. Their cultures often place a focal point on their appearance, and the role it has to show their social status.   Despite being extremely intelligent, Perrots are generally looked down and oppressed by humans. In numerous civilizations, they are still taken as slaves or forced workers, although this is forbidden for humans.
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by Pouaseuille

Illustration of an old Perrot from the south of the Cylinder, without any make-up.
Genetic Descendants
Scientific Name
Ara capitum
Origin/Ancestry
Provolved member of the Ara species
Lifespan
50 - 80 years depending on the location
Average Height
50-75 cm
Average Weight
2 - 3 kg
Average Length
(Wingspan) : 150-175 cm

Biology

Anatomy and Morphology

Perrots are birds, and share similar features to most birds of the Cylinder. They are warm-blooded vertebrates covered with feathers, with very lightweight bones and extensive thoracic muscles that allow them to fly. While they are the largest member of their genus, Perrots are very similar to a lot of Ara species. They share many common features with the parrot birds that inhabit the deep southern jungles. They have a strong, curved bill, with a prominent mandible. Their strong jaw muscles grant them a powerful bite, adapted to the consumption of nuts and seeds. They have very nimble claws that allow them to carry and manipulate objects with a great dexterity.   However, some notable differences make Perrots easy to visually identify. Firstly, they have a significantly larger head than any other Ara species, that hosts their massive brains. What is more, Perrots' heads have a feather crest, that is not observed in the genus. The size of this crest varies a lot between individuals, and among ethnic groups. Finally, Perrot birds are known to have highly variable colourings, a relatively unique feature among birds.      
If it looks like a parrot but you're not in the South, then it's a Perrot. If you're in the South and it looks like a parrot, but it has a very big head and a crest, then it's a Perrot.
— Unknown
 

Body tints and colourings

  Perrots are known to have a wide variety of foliage colourings, a relatively unique feat among birds. Indeed, different Perrot ethnic groups usually have relatively different feathers, that make them easy to identify. For example in the case of city perrots, Nordic birds often have a whiter belly, and green to blue wings and back, while the Southern Perrots have a yellow to sand-like colour on their belly, and a redder back. The following image shows the difference between a city bird from the Southern deserts and a city bird from the Nordic tundras.    
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by Pouaseuille
Similarly, City birds and tribal birds have very different colourings. The tribal perrots usually have much more white and purple on their feathers than the city birds, that usually have a blue to black tail and crest and a coloured body. In addition to their natural variety, colouring differences have also been artificially created by humans. Indeed, while some city Perrots are used as slaves or workers by humans, others are more treated like pets or counselors by aristocratic families and leaders. Because the nobles want to have a well-bred, noble bird, some colourings exist only among these birds. The following image represents the difference between the working-class birds of Merinos and their aristocratic counterpart. One can easily guess that the long crest and tail are not highly practical for physical work, and that these noble birds are quite dependant on their humans.      
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by Pouaseuille
       

Reproduction

With very few exceptions, Perrots are a highly monogamous species. They form deeply emotional bonds with their partners, and often remain with them for several decades at a time, or until their partner's death.   Although that is highly variable among cultures, Perrots do not typically reproduce often in their life. They will usually lay one to three eggs at a time, and often raise their hatchlings until adulthood before having more offspring. More often than not, Perrot couples will only have two or three children in their entire life. Eggs can be laid at any time of the year, although it is less common to lay in winter and icick than in spring or summer. The eggs are then brooded by both parents in a warm hammock for around 40 days, before they hatch.        

Growth stages and life cycle

 
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by Pouaseuille
  As they hatch, young Perrots are extremely dependants to their parents. They are completely blind for 20 to 40 days, and can barely move with coordination. They are extensively mouth-fed by their parents for three to four seasons, before they can handle their food with their own beak and claw. They are almost entirely featherless, and grow their first plumage between half a year and one year. The fledgling usually reach their adult size in one year and a half. However, they are usually incapable of flying before age two, and rarely leave the house. After they learn to fly, the young birds start to form social bonds with other birds and creatures out of their housek. In some cultures, they also go to school. However, Perrots generally remain dependant on their parents at least until age 14, often later.       Perrots are known to live up to age 80 and more. As such, they experience aging. Older birds are generally known to have a wrinkled face, and progressively lose feathers around their face and under their wings. Very old Perrots often have an entirely naked face and belly, and have great difficulties to fly or to withstand cold temperatures.        
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by Pouaseuille
  Psychologically, the growth of a Perrot is relatively slow as well. They often utter their first words between age one and two, and then undergo a long social and cultural education from their peers and parents. What is more, while they reach sexual maturity between age 12 and 16, Perrots usually reach their psychological maturity around age 20 to 25. For six to ten years, they undergo major physical and psychological changes, as they slowly adapt into their world. This "adulescent" phase of the Perrots' development is similar to the humans' teenage, and is often characterized by tumultuous relations with a bird's family, friends, and mentors.      

Diet

  Being parrots, Perrots are mostly granivores. While they sometimes add arthropodes and very small mammals to their diet, their staple foods are nuts, seeds, and fruits. The strong beak and nimble claws of Perrots, initially adapted to the careful consumption of grains while surgically removing the toxic parts, have proven to be a great asset in cookery. Perrot cuisine is very diverse around the Cylinder, and is often appreciated by humans as much as birds. While they do not produce many dishes en sauce, Perrot plates are often well-spiced, and often play with a blend of crunchy and melting textures. The well-known roasted balls, for example, consist in a crispy outer layer of smashed and roasted grains, around a soft core of well-cooked fruits and leaves.      

Geographic origin and distribution

Despite their oppressed state among humans, many say that Perrots are the actual masters of the Cylinder. Which, as a species, is not wrong: they are the most widespread species one can find there. Perrots live among humans as City Birds, and away from humans as Tribal Perrots. However, they can also be found in Mountain ranges and even in some parts of the Underworld, both places that are absolutely not colonized by humans. Perrots are even said to live in the Frozen Sheet.      

Civilization and culture

This section is an incomplete summary, you can also visit the dedicated article to find more information about the diversity of Perrot cultures.    
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by Pouaseuille

Beauty Ideals

  Physical appearance plays a major role in the Perrot societies. While beauty in itself is regarded as subjective to one's eyes, and does not play a role in emotional attraction, birds are generally expected to have an allure of sorts, meaning that one's physical appearance is expected to be in accordance with one's social function and status. As for example, a shaman is expected to have a lot of talismans, pendants and other enchanted items about their person, a smith or someone working with fire is expected to have their feathers in a darker tone than usual, an old warrior is expected to have scars. While the nature of one's outfit varies greatly between cultures, a lot of specific codes remain the same everywhere in the Cylinder. Everywhere, the same basic symbols are associated with the same functions.      

Gender Ideals

  Sexual dimorphism does not exist among Perrots. As a result, Perrot societies are almost entirely genderless. Relationships are based on emotional attraction, and when couples happen to be unable to produce children, they are given eggs by the rest of the group.      

Relationship Ideals

    Perrots are deeply emotional beings, that attach great importance to their relation with their peers. They form couples for extended periods of time, often remaining with the same bird for decades until their death. What is more, perrots living outside of great cities attach a lot of importance to their tribes: They are distantly related to most of them, and consider their village as an extension of themselves. This is less the case for birds living among humans, where city perrots are more individualistic than tribal perrots. That can be explain by the fact that city perrots live in more densely populated area, and are often forced to move from one city to another because of slave trade. They quickly lose contact with their family, and tend to regard their whole species as a block. To that matter, City Perrots have a friendly behavior toward most other Perrots, while Tribal Perrots tend to be cautious around foreigners.      

Languages

Perrots are among the most intelligent species of the Cylinder. Their deep understanding of abstract concepts, as well as their complex tongue and beak, allow them to speak and learn several different languages. Because they have interacted for long with humans, most Perrots speak human tongues, the most common ones being derived from the common Nordic and Nomadic languages.   However, the birds are also capable of producing a variety and a precise tuning of sounds that cannot be produced by the human vocal chords. A lot of these sounds were in use in Archaic Perrotish, thought to be the original language spoken by Perrots. Some sounds, as well as grammatical forms, derived from Archaic Perrotish are still spoken in some isolated Perrot groups.  

Relationships with humans

  Perrots have lived with humans for almost as long as one can remember, and have almost always had complicated relationships with them. Human societies, particularly sedentary ones, typically oppress Perrots in one way or another. Over the course of history, they were often sold as slaves, bred like pets, imprisoned, banished from cities, taken to forced labor... In short, they were exploited. And yet, everyone knows that Perrots are sapient.    
All in all, people know they are just as clever as us, probably more than most of us. But I guess that's why so many humans act like that: it all comes down to fear, both fear of the unknown and fear of the terrifyingly similar.
  To learn more about the history of Perrot oppression over time, you can visit the dedicated article on the subject

Articles under Perrots


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