There is a distinct variety of birds that are called Dragon Birds, because of the form of their mouths, as they don't have beaks like common birds and also because of their sharp teeths and prominent claws in hands and feet,. From their anatomy to the fact that they lay eggs these animals are very similar to birds, in fact, there have been scholars from prestigious academies that believe them to be similar to chickens or ostriches because they can't fly too.They're fascinating creatures, capable of slain a cow in seconds or to persue and kill buffalos, horses or zebras and even elephants. According to mythology they were among the first creatures created by the Sky Father . He, in all his wisdom , create two kind of birds, those who have beaks and those that don't. The first are what we call "common birds" or simply, "birds", and they were design to fly in order to ascent to the Heavenly Realms and proclaim the glory of the Gods and the beauty of Nature. While the latter, the Dragon Birds, remained land animals but thanks to their powerfull and dangerous teeths were ordered by the gods to be the guardians of Nature. And they were the masters until the Gods decided to bestow the kingship among all the creatures to elves and humans.
Former masters of the world, now scatered among the planet, but still they've become one of the most famous creatures alongside Yeia, because of their beauty, their speed, and for being one of the greatest if not the greatest predators in the world. They filled the imagination of many cultures and civilizations that gave them special places in their mythologies.
Don't hear those stupid legends about them exhaling fire, its nonsense. What its true is that if they attack you you either can have your throat cut or being cut off in tiny bits by their sharp teeths.From a dragon they He was born, and the Father of all the Gods, Abbon Shabai, blessed be his name, create a type of birds resembling the creature from which the world and their rulers were born. And for many of them he gave an special place guarding his throne, while to others he said: "Go and astonish the world with your beauty and make the forces of darkness tremble because if they see you they'll see the mother of us all reflected on you, She who had granted me the power to ruler over all below my palace, She who was the one who created light from darkness"
Dragon birds are anatomically similar to birds, they have four extremities, two legs and two wing like arms. In bigger species, the arms are smaller than the ones of the small species. The main distinction between "common" birds and Dragon birds is that the latter have long mouths with impressive teeths rather than beaks and hands with three fingers with big claws. Also they cannot fly and they can't sing like most birds. Many naturalists from different academies around Yeia have stated that the sounds they produced are closer to the ones produced by owls, eagles or crows. Their legs are longer than common birds and their musculature is very well developed allowing them to catch really high speeds that made them some of the fastest animals on the planet. Another considerable difference between common and dragon birds are their tails. Birds have no tails, or almost vestigial ones, but dragon birds have really long tails that act like a counterwheight and also help them while running allowing them to do tight turns. As well as birds, most of them are covered with feathers, although the biggest of the Dragon birds are usually covered in thinner feathers that resemble those of penguins.
Habitat and Diet
Dragon Birds live in a wide variety of environments. From sabanas and stepes to dense forests and huge plains. They can be found in greater numbers in the latter two . They don't live near cities as they fear humans, after centuries of being hunted by some societies. Dragon birds are mainly carnivorous although the smaller species can also be omnivorous, but indeed meat is their prefered food. Because of that Dragon Birds are superb hunters, but their hunting method changes depending on the size of the animal. Smaller dragon birds hunt in groups ranging from 2 or 3 individuals to around 6 or 8 for big prey while bigger Dragon Birds usually preffer to ambush their prey. Also small dragon birds also eat little animals like lizzards, rabbits, weasels or worms.
Reproduction and growth
The way they reproduce is similar to birds. They also lay eggs in nests on the ground, but the gestation period is longer than common birds, and usually it takes 1 month to the egg to hatch. Aside from the difference in gestation periods, Dragon Birds growth rate is sometimes similar to birds, but it also depends on the specie. For example small dragon birds growth rate is similar to chickens but the big ones can stay in their nests for several months. Sexual maturity can take even longer for big species of dragon birds (perhaps several years) while the smaller species can take their first mates in two or three years. Lastly, In case of big species of Dragon birds, when they get older their speed reduces drastically and are no longer able to run but walk fast.
Average Intelligence and Sensory capabilities
Dragon Birds are very smart creatures ( of course not like humans and elves, or Ilidari ) but they are quite intelligent in comparison with other creatures from the same enviroments. They are capable of designing strategies for hunting or ambush their prey. They are also very curious animals, specially the younger specimens, that usually will explore their surroundings and "play" with other animals (sometimes with fatal consequences). They can also use tools, for example they can take an stone in order to break a walnut or use an stick to catch a worm. Talking about their senses, we've to say that the sight of Dragon birds is as good as raptor birds such as eagles. They can see their prey from miles away and if they can't their superb smell senses guide them totheir next meal.
One distinctive facial feature of the Dragon birds is that their mouths may have different colours depending of the individual and their enviroment. Members of the same specie that live in forest can have mouths coloured brown or black, while others living in warmer climates may have white mouths with yellow dots at the end. It is not known if this variation also has to do with display and mating or simply camuflage.
Their eyes are similar in both shape and colours to those of birds .
Dragon birds can display a huge variety of colours and patters depending on their habitat (where their body colour helps them to camuflate) . You can find for example Dragon Birds coverered entirely with red and yellow plumes in the arid regions or brown or grey in the mountain regions. You can also find individuals covered in white and blue feathers for example in more snowy regions. Usually males have brighter colour patterns than the females. This could be something relating to mating process ( that is something similar to peackocks and another birds). It was also believed, acording to davidovian mythology that their colours represented the gods they served or were under their protection (Yellow for Abbon Shabai, the god of light, green or brown for Tyr, the goddess of Nature, purple for the goddess of thunder, white for the Goddess of the Moon or red for the Goddess of Fire). So, if a person had to slain a dragon bird because its a threat to his cattle they had to first pray to the god asking their permission and look for omens that would show him that the permission has been granted.
Usually Dragon birds live in couples or in groups of around 5 or 6 individual, usually members of the same family. Both males and females share the same tasks like hunting, taking care of the young specimens or hatching the eggs in the nests. Usually the oldest member of the groups acts as the leader. Family seems to be important for them as it has been stated that sometimes dragon birds do a kind of family reunion, specially for hunting during the migration of some animals that are their prey, such as buffalos or zebras. Dragon Birds are very territorial and they will fight any other dragon bird or other predator aside from their family that invades their territory or tries to hunt in it.
Some sages and individuals have domesticated some specimens of dragon birds (specially the small ones) either my magic or taking of them since they were babies, but no single specie of dragon birds have been fully domesticated. And certainly those who tried to domesticate the bigger Dragon Birds have died trying). Dragon birds are not inmune to magic and people with magical powers can domesticate individual dragon birds and also made them understand the commands given to them. But contrary with magical creatures like the aforementioned Ilidari, they are not able to express "human" fealings or show no sign of understanding of human logic. They will only obbey to basic commands or defend their owners if they think they're in danger.
Geographic Origin and Distribution
Dragon Birds can be found in Seria's Southern Provinces, as well as in the Central and Eastern Regions of the continent of Karia, as well as in a few places in Teria such as the North of the Kallian Plains and the South-Central regions of the continent ( Kingdoms of Brire, Stormitia and Western regions of the Kingdom of the Green Elves) as well as in the plains east of the Albine Mountains).
around 20 or 30 years
From 70 cm to 2 meters (depending on the specie)
15 kgs to 300kgs (depending on the specie)
2 meters to 7 meters (depending on the specie)