Leonopteryx

By, Hannah Hobert

Description

The wingspan of the leonopteryx is more than 25 meters (75–80 ft.). It can even exceed 30 meters. Its wings are composed of individual finned members that can separate to act as a slotted airfoil, or overlap and seal to form a solid surface. When separated, they can rotate individually to induce or retard vortex formation. These finned members are not unlike the primary feathers of many terran birds. The fiber composite bones help the animal to achieve flight through the dense Pandoran atmosphere, as with other flying animals of Pandora.[1] Unlike its smaller cousins, the banshees, its legs are not vestigial and are a key part of its anatomy, as they are used for grabbing prey while diving or to provide a stronger kick while taking off. The leonopteryx has four large golden eyes with black pupils. Two of its main eyes are in the front of the skull, and the two others are located near the rectangular antenna bases. Due to its size, the leonopteryx would not be a dense jungle hunter like banshees, but would have very little trouble on the plains or near cliffs or mountains, where it could feed on mid-sized animals or banshees.

Habitat, Mating and Encounters

The leonopteryx are difficult to locate. This fact is exacerbated by the associated risk with trying to locate the resting place of such a massive, dangerous animal. However, some have been sighted in the Hallelujah Mountains. Members of the species mate for life and breed once every two years. Primarily, the great leonopteryx travels alone and occasionally in pairs. However, unlike the mountain banshee, they have never been observed in a swarm, or other high concentration. They hatch from eggs; Seyvaro once told a story about a leonopteryx eating a young Na'vi for stealing one. Although leonopteryx are wary of encountering their own kind, it is documented that a team of avatars observed a battle between two leonopteryx in the space of 3 hours. The battle ended when both fell to the forest floor from their mortal wounds and were believed to have been dispatched by a large pack of viperwolves.