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Species: Cathartes alborostro (Plague-eating Gliders)

Family:
Ornithoforma
Binomial Name:
C. alborostro
Diet:
Meat, bones, occasionally stems
Avg. height:
5'10 to 6'3"

Though the title "Plague-eater" once described a wide variety of Gliderkin, these other species have been out-competed, leaving C. alborostro the only extant species of Plague-eater. Plague-eating gliders make their home on the eastern continent, mostly north of Lordspire in the mountains, as well as steppes, savannas, and semi-deserts. While their many cultures are varied, those of other species who have had contact with Plague-eaters know them best for their curious, exploratory nature, and their uncanny habit of leaving no scraps behind.

Similarly to most other Gliderkin, the Plague-eaters lack any form of sexual dimorphism, and in societies bereft of outside influence, do not maintain or develop constructs relating to gender or gender roles. Many cultures permit and encourage communal raising of young.

Physiology

One of the larger species of Glider-kin, Plague-eaters are typically gaunt and lightly built in spite of their imposing stature. They are built for passive soaring, and may be recognized in flight for their natural wobble while airborne, though their silhouete is distinct enough to be recognized as-is. Their wings are wide, long, and have slotted primary feathers to catch the wind more easily. Additionally, they are able to lock their hips into position in flight so as not to strain muscles or hinder themselves, a trait shared with the Diving Gliders, S. aequornithys.

Notably, adult Plague-eaters are able to consume and digest decaying carcasses without suffering from disease for it. This is due to their highly acidic stomach fluid, which kills a majority of bacteria and viruses before they are able to spread or develop. For similar reasons, they are able to digest bones, should they be smashed into small enough pieces first. This, almost universally, provokes fear and wonder when they do this at interspecies gatherings and completely forget that this is no common feat.

Eggs of this species are laid one at a time, and young hatch partially covered in thin, white down, though are almost completely helpless until they fledge at 8 years of age. Youth do not fully develop physically until they turn 15, and do not finish developing mentally until about 25. The ability to digest rotting carrion without harm is developed at about 10 years, but is not typically encouraged during good tidings until the fledgeling is 13.

Cultures

Many cultures of Plague-eating Glider may be found across the Heartlands, including but not limited to:

Gallery

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