The things you learn when researching!

The things you learn when researching!
English: Giant Haast's eagle attacking New Zea...
Giant Haast’s eagle attacking New Zealand moa (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My current WIP involved shapeshifters, and Michelle brought up a good question: Why doesn’t a shapeshifter just pick up the protagonist and fly her off, Hobbit-style, to where he needs to go?

I considered it a simple issue of physics: in order to pick up and carry an adult human, you’d need enormous wings, and eventually you get big enough that muscles wouldn’t be able to move them.

For reference I used the albatross, which is enormous but can only carry very small loads, and the extinct Haast’s eagle, which was believed to eat moa birds and occasionally human children before its main food source was hunted to extinction by the Maori several hundred years ago. Though it was relatively huge (roughly 45 lbs), it looks like it didn’t carry off its pray so much as dive at it, maul it like a tiger, and then eat it where it had fallen.

Now, I was under the impression that the Haast’s eagle was the largest predatory bird.

Turns out I was wrong. Continue reading “The things you learn when researching!”