Major Kites (continued)

Major kites have a broad, flat head. Large eyes on either side of the head allow them to keep track of their flock while in flight.  They have good eyesight in both dim and bright conditions, allowing them to range to either edge of their planet’s twilight zone. Their eyes also have pigment cells that can change color. They use the varying ranges of color communicate.  A bioluminescent layer behind the pigments is used as a backlight to communicate at night. The backlight might also be used to suggest increased emphasis on the message, much like a human raising their voice. Major kites have no eyelids and the surface of their eyes is a transparent chitin, making their eyes naturally hard and resilient.  The mouth is located in the front of the head and can open to more than twice the head’s width.  Major kites use this large basking mouth to collect swarms of small prey.

Behind the head are two long skin flaps. These prehensile wind vanes serve multiple purposes.  First, they are used as semaphores to communicate visually, or through direct contact (especially with embarked minor kites).  Second, they can be used for general light utility such as scratching, lifting, and grooming. Lastly, they aid in flight, sensing changes in air pressure and providing assistance in maneuvering.

Major kite language is visual and auditory. In flight, they will use their bright eye colors and wind vanes to signal each other. This is more reliable than using sound in high winds that can distort the message. When on the ground, major kites will rumble and bellow in low tones using vocal cords in their throats. Humans and major kites do not have the same vocal abilities and require translators or voice synthesizers to communicate effectively.


Published by Sapling

I am writing/illustrating the work-in-progress novel "Free Drove". I am a science fiction and animation fan. My mind latches on to trivia readily and creates it just as easily.

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