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Roc

 

Description A huge bird, with a wingspan of  30 paces that is capable of carrying off an elephant (or a knight on his horse, as pictured above.)   It is so large that drinking cups can be made of its nails. 

 

Features Allegedly the Kubla Khan sent men to inquire about the Roc, and they returned with a "feather" of the Roc that was 90 spans long (about 67 feet.) It may have been a palm frond. 

 

Also Called Ruc, Rukh, Rukhkh, or Chinese Pyong

Some versions claimed it was half-lion, and half-bird, which led to confusion with the griffin.

 

Described By:  Marco Polo- "it was for all the world like an eagle, but one indeed of enormous size; so big in fact, that its wings covered an extent of 30 paces, and its quills were 12 paces long, and thick in proportion.  And it is so strong that it will seize an Elephant in its talons, and carry him high into the air, and drop him so that he is smashed to pieces."

Sir Richard Burton- "At this sight my wonder redoubled and I remembered a story I had heard aforetime of pilgrims and travelers, how in a certain island dwelleth a huge bird, called the "roc," which feedeth its young on elephants, and I was certified that the dome which caught my sight was none other than a roc's egg. As I looked and wondered at the marvelous works of the Almighty, the bird alighted on the dome and brooded over it with its wings covering it and its legs stretched out behind it on the ground, and in this posture it fell asleep, glory be to Him who sleepeth not! When I saw this, I arose and, unwinding my turban from my head, doubled it and twisted it into a rope, with which I girt my middle and bound my waist fast to the legs of the roc, saying in myself, "Peradventure this bird may carry me to a land of cities and inhabitants, and that will be better than abiding in this desert island." I passed the night watching and fearing to sleep, lest the bird should fly away with me unawares, and as soon as the dawn broke and morn shone, the roc rose off its egg and spreading its wings with a great cry, flew up into the air dragging me with it, nor ceased it to soar and to tower till I thought it had reached the limit of the firmament. After which it descended earthward, little by little, till it lighted on the top of a high hill." (Tales from the Arabian Nights)

 

Might Actually be A Moa or a Condor.  May also be the extinct wingless Elephant Bird of Madagascar, whose egg has a liquid capacity of 2.35 gallons.  

 

Comparison of an Elephant Bird egg and other eggs...

 

 

 

 

 

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