Winghunters, called wingflyers by the rukhs, are a species of manta-like flying predator native to Saturn.
Anatomy & Physiology Edit
Winghunters resemble large rays in general shape. They have a wingspan of about 20 meters (66 feet) and are about 3 meters (10 feet) thick. Unlike rays, their eyes are very large, about two meters (6.6 feet) across. The eyes are situated on each side of a large mouth. Their bodies contain large reservoirs of hydrogen gas to make them light enough to fly. Winghunters do not fly using jet propulsion like rukhs do, and instead must flap their wings almost constantly to stay aloft.
Winghunters are carnivores, hunting and feeding on other Saturnian animals such as balloonfloaters and ribbonswimmers.
Ecology & Behavior Edit
Winghunters are social animals, hunting their prey in packs. While intelligent predators, they are not sapient and do not demonstrate the same kind of sophistication as rukhs do. Winghunters are themselves preyed on by rukhs, although they do not appear to be a major component of their diet.
- The aliens that appear on the cover of Saturn Rukh are most likely winghunters, not rukhs. This makes them the only creature from the novel to be officially illustrated.