Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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The theoretical maximum weight for a flying animal, and why many animals have broken it

Here’s a great post which Elaine T pointed out:

How Dragons Fly: When Biology Trumps Physics

I particularly like this diagram:

And the associated comment:

Behold! Above you’ll see some of the largest known fliers of past, present, and fantasy. See if you can spot the dragons. And take special note of the “theoretical flight limit,” which we’ll get to in a few minutes.

See if you can spot the dragons! Ha!

Then the rest of the post explains why so many real animals can fly even though they weigh lots more than 41 kg. And so we spiral downwards into a black hole of theoretical biomechanics. So we do, and it’s fun to read about.

Now, as far as I’m concerned, it’s also irrelevant because, you know, dragons are *magical,* so who cares about biomechanics? But this is still a fun post. Click through and read the whole thing if you’re interested.

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2 Comments The theoretical maximum weight for a flying animal, and why many animals have broken it

  1. Craig N.

    “There’s also a recurring theory that air density may have been different in the Mesozoic era, making it easier for large creatures to get airborne.”

    Really?

  2. Rachel

    Well, I think that’s pretty unlikely, but I guess people do propose unlikely theories. Recurringly.

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