Waynright Rowles

  In the remote places of the Earth exists creatures of myth, now brought back into the light of modern memory. Over the eons they have been revealed many times, only to be forgotten again as cultures rose and fell. Are they legend, or are they fact?
  Dinobirds, properly called Dinornisia, occupy a unique niche in our world ecosystem. Neither birds nor dinosaurs, these creatures may be relatives of each. When I started my researches in 1988 the idea that birds are the grandchildren of dinosaurs would have been heresy. Twelve years later, the link between birds and dinosaurs has become established in the scientific milieu, and yet the basis of my work is thought of as no more than a Storybook by the general public.
  The facts, however, can speak for themselves. For all of Human recorded history there have been legends of giant flying creatures that lived in the forests or mountains. In all countries, all cultures, and in all time periods, primitive and advanced, these stories live. Stories that tell of giant flying creatures, described as part bird (or bat) and part land animal, (usually a local animal), which have human-like behaviors and personalities. Illustration 1
  Our ancestors called them Dragons, and Griffins, and Harpies, and Rocs, Tengus, Thunderbirds, and Quetzalcoatl, and a hundred other names. Many different artworks exist in local styles, but take the art away and the descriptions become the same creatures. Many different isolated cultures worldwide mimicked the same appearance of horns, crests and wings, so there must have been an identical original to mimic from. North America cultures are only the latest examples. Illustration 2
 Working backward, we are speaking of a congruent evolution parallel to, but separate from, common birds. Starting as the dinosaurs reached old age, a second branch veered off of the family tree, this one holding another group of flying animals that were perhaps related to the pygmy variants of the ancient giants. Over time they developed,staying small in numbers but large in size. Evolution kept them at the biggest size still possible for flight. This indicates that they still fly. Size Comparison 1
 Human history has been confronted with large winged animals who have intelligent behaviors and personalities unlike normal animals. They have done such things as stockpile gold, kidnap princesses, and create luck. In some tales they could even speak. No doubt some of this is an exaggeration caused in the retelling of the same incidents. However, all legends have a basis in fact. With these stories in mind we must place Dinornisia in the line-up of intelligent Earth creatures, and perhaps high up.
 The puzzling point of these legends is that many times the creatures are friendly and other times aggressive. Combined together, these stories portray either friendly herbivores or aggressive meat-eaters. Obviously, no animal can be both, so this information indicates at least two distinct sub-types of Dinornisia. I believe each group had their own territory and behaviors, and that encounters with Mankind disrupted these habitats. Local legends depended upon which group the humans met. The plant eaters were friendly, the meat eaters were not. Illustration 3 and Illustration 4
  For example, several eons ago in the Mediterranean, there were many such tales. Why did they die out? Did the population become more intelligent? Was myth replaced with science, or was it something else? I will only point out that this area was once heavily forested. When the forests of the area were all cut down the stories stopped! Obviously, with no homes the creatures had to leave the area, or were exterminated, and so the encounters ended, leaving only legends.
  I believe the entire history of Dinornisia movements could be followed by charting the deforestation caused by the spread of humans. As people moved into a region, there were first encounters. These first pioneers relate the incidents to later arrivals, who do not firmly believe them, but repeated them. As cities develop contact becomes more rare. Later, as the local forest is denuded, the encounters stop, and are left as historical here-say. Again and again this could have happened, with memories fading each time.
  From the early days in the Middle East, then spreading out into Europe and Asia, followed by the Americas and even Easter Island, the spread of human population causes the spread of legends of the giant flying creatures. Are we following them, or they us?
  In our current day, new levels of forest shrinkage are occurring. The last great forests of the Earth are dying by the saw. This may now cause a reappearance of these 'Dinobirds', if they still exist. I believe time will tell.  W


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