FANDOM


Plsgavia

Picture by Tim Morris

As a result of hunting and destruction of habitats number of the majority of sea mammal species was sharply reduced, and some species had disappeared completely to the end of human era. “plankton accident” which became the result of catastrophic changes in biosphere, had destroyed practically all species of sea mammals which had escaped after hunting of people. Populations of sea animals became too rarefied to have an opportunity to restore and to self-maintain. Therefore till several millions years after people disappearance all sea pinnipeds and cetaceans have gradually died out.

The ecological niche of large sea fish-eating animals remained empty not for long time: descendants of species were at supporting parts in ecosystems earlier had gradually started to fill it. In Northern hemisphere a plenty of the water birds partly replacing seals and dolphins in sea ecosystems has appeared. At northern coast of Pacific ocean herbivorous algal geese and flightless guillemots hatchetbills, eating sea invertebrates, coexist. Huge gannetwhales inhabit Arctic Ocean and Atlantic, and at the Atlantic coast of Europe in areas of temperate climate the large flightless laughterloon lives. This species of loons does not swim far from coast, but it has the relative preferring life at open ocean. When these birds emerge on ocean surface, it seems that on Earth plesiosauri have appeared again – long flexible necks of these birds make them similar to prehistoric sea reptiles. And these birds are named plesioloons because of it. This bird is rather large – it weighs about 10 kg. The plesioloon had lost the ability to fly, but it had mastered water. Wings of this bird had turned to long strong flippers with which help it accelerates high speed under water. Muscled body of plesioloon is streamline-shaped; pectoral muscles are advanced almost as well as at flying birds, and are attached to strong pectoral bone.
Feathering of bird is short, colored dark grey with silvery shade on sides. On sides of bird feathering forms pattern like dim cross strips. On stomach the feathering is short and light. Feathering densely adjoins to skin and isolates body from cold. In addition the bird is protected from cold by thick fat layer. Paws have palamas between toes and are shifted far to the back part of body (therefore bird can not stand on them). It can move on the ground, only laying on stomach and pushing by paws. Under water paws serve as rudders, and to a lesser degree participate in movement. Tail of bird is short and wide; with its help plesioloon can make sharp turns under water, chasing shoals of smaller animals. Plesioloon spends the most part of time in sea, leaving on a coast only for rest and nesting. Having lost ability to flight completely, this bird is excellent swimmer comparable to penguins – it quickly swims in thickness of water and can stay under water foor a long time. Bird “flies” under water, flapping by wings, as by flippers. This bird also uses wings to move on stony coast.

Plegavi1

Initial image - picture made by Arseny Zolotnikov

At the plesioloon there is very long neck, that’s why the bird is partly similar to swans or fossil sea reptiles, plesiosauri. But plesioloon differs from them in jaw anatomy. This bird successfully hunts pelagic fish and herring squids by means of thin narrow beak supplied on edges with small denticles. The anatomy of bird is adapted to feeding by such kind of catch – at hunting for small animals force of throw is not as important, as accuracy. When plesioloon overtakes a school of fishes or squids, it can simply swim in parallel it, simultaneously snatching out catch from shoal by mobile head. Massive body serves as a support for head and neck at throws. At this bird there is lightning reaction – for one throw it can seize and swallow one by one up to three preys in succession.

The lonely hunter is less successful, than the whole flight, especially at open ocean where catch has opportunity to escape from chasing in any direction. During the evolution plesioloons had mastered group hunting for schooling sea animals. During it birds surround school of animals, and, swimming around of it, push catch to the surface of water and force down the school of animals to dense congestion. After that birds simply snatch surrounded animals one by one.
Plesioloons spend the most part of time at the ocean far from coast. Due to this they partly avoid a competition to other sea birds. Especially frequently they meet in places where there are small rocky small islands far from continent coast. Plesioloon appears on land infrequently – basically it makes it during nesting. At this time aggression of birds in relation to other species strongly increases – on land bird is clumsy, and instinctively distinguishes threat for itself in each stranger.

Plegavi2
The lonely hunter is less successful, than the whole flight, especially at open ocean where catch has opportunity to escape from chasing in any direction. During the evolution plesioloons had mastered group hunting for schooling sea animals. During it birds surround school of animals, and, swimming around of it, push catch to the surface of water and force down the school of animals to dense congestion. After that birds simply snatch surrounded animals one by one.

Plesioloons spend the most part of time at the ocean far from coast. Due to this they partly avoid a competition to other sea birds. Especially frequently they meet in places where there are small rocky small islands far from continent coast. Plesioloon appears on land infrequently – basically it makes it during nesting. At this time aggression of birds in relation to other species strongly increases – on land bird is clumsy, and instinctively distinguishes threat for itself in each stranger.
Plesioloon is monogamous bird, and pairs are formed only for one nesting season. Courtship displays of these birds which begin in the spring at open ocean look effectively – on sea surface the set of bent necks appears, as if the swan flock is swimming. Males hardly differ from females: they have only larger crest on head. They gather in groups, and loudly cry calling females. To strengthen impression about itself, each male thrusts out from water as far as possible, and accompanies cries with flapping of flipper-like wings, as if trying to fly up. Lingering courtship call of this bird resembles a sound of pipe and spreads far above ocean. After the formation of pairs and pairing (it occurs in water) birds leave on a coast and arrange nests.

Plegavi3
Because plesioloons are rather vulnerable on land, they choose coasts protected from predators, or the removed islands for nesting. This bird nests on coast rather far from the surf line. Its neighbours, gannetwhales, “hatch” an egg, holding it on paws, therefore at approach of storm they can simply creep away from coast. But plesioloon is not as large, as they are, therefore it nests by traditional for birds way – it arranges simple nest like small hole among stones, or chooses suitable deepening in ledges of rocks. Birds nest in dense groups – it is easier to defend so from possible predators, or to drive away the massive gannetwhales armed with powerful beak. Driving strangers away from nest, birds fearlessly peck them by sharp beaks, putting deep wounds. Fast reaction, speed and force of impact make them dangerous opponents even for gannetwhale. Only at the Atlantic coast of Europe laughterloons can ravage nests of plesioloons – they are armed equally, but are more massive and stronger.

In clutch usually there are two white shell eggs. Only female hatches and male only feeds her. The incubating lasts about 40 days. Nestlings are covered with down and have opened eyes. They at once leave nest and independently study to catch small animals. Parents feed them first three weeks of life, and later their care is reduced mainly to protection of nestlings. The young bird becomes fully fledged at the age of about two weeks. From now young growth gathers in “kindergartens”, and adult birds feed posterity, finding nestlings out by voice.
Young birds grow quickly, and to the first winter they reach the weight about 7 – 8 kg. Before sexual maturity the feathering of birds has no characteristic silvery pattern. Young birds nest first time at the age of 2 years.
This species forms three well defined populations between which the continuous communication is supported due to joining and separating of flocks of birds migrating at ocean. Atlantic, or European, population is the smallest one: it forms some congestions at the European coast. Laughterloon, the closest and competing to plesioloon species, lives here. European plesioloons spend winter to the south of all others – in cool Antigulf Stream current they reach to the south up to coast of Northern Africa. North-American population is more numerous – it inhabits eastern coast of North America up to Greenland and almost anywhere it does not migrate – Gulf Stream makes places of their inhabiting rather warm. Only birds from Greenland migrate to the south. Macaronesian population is the most numerous. It lives on islands in middle part of Atlantic and each year migrates between New Azora and Iceland.

Ad blocker interference detected!


Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.