[[quoteright:350:[[VideoGame/ShadowOfTheColossus http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/shadow_of_the_colossus_-_13_phalanx_5917.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Just ''how'' are you going to [[ColossusClimb climb]] ''that'' mountain, hmm?]]

->''"... it was a winged creature: if bird, then greater than all other birds, and it was naked, and neither quill nor feather did it bear, and its vast pinions were as webs of hide between horned fingers; and it stank. A creature of an older world, maybe it was..."''
-->-- ''[[Literature/TheLordOfTheRings The Return of the King]]''

Large flying creatures are a staple of [[SpeculativeFiction Fantastic Fiction]]. This trope comes in a few distinct flavors:

* '''Large Flying Predators''': Many Giant Flyers are simply large aerial predators who [[KidnappingBirdOfPrey swoop down on unlucky characters from above]] and carry them off to their dooms. Generally, the Flying Predator version isn't outright evil.

* '''Leathery Winged Avians''': (Never mind the fact that many of them are [[GoodWingsEvilWings feathery winged]] instead.) These Giant Flyers will act much like the first type, but will do so on the local BigBadís account, and will often look uglier or more monstrous than the "natural" kind to reflect this. They may either attack the heroes on their lonesome, serve as steeds for the Big Badís servants, or both. The name was coined by Creator/DianaWynneJones' in ''Literature/TheToughGuideToFantasyland''.

* '''Deus Ex Machina Airlines''': Giant Flyers as BigDamnHeroes. As mentioned in HorseOfADifferentColor, an animal that can fly ''and'' be ridden on is probably the most-desired fantasy mount. Where such Giant Flyers appear, expect there to be at least one scene where they must [[CatchAFallingStar swoop down to rescue a non-flying character]] who has fallen from a great height. Such scenes in ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'' earned this subtype the name "DeusExMachina Airlines" from the Harvard Lampoon parody ''Literature/BoredOfTheRings''.

Note that Giant Flyers can be either literally gigantic or just relatively large compared to the other characters. Compare OurDragonsAreDifferent, DragonRider, EldritchAbomination, WingedHumanoid, SpaceWhale, FeatheredFiend, PteroSoarer, LivingGasbag and LivingShip. See also {{Giant Swimmer}}s.

In RealLife, the largest flying birds are limited by the manner in which avian flight feathers grow, and historically have never been much bigger than even modern condors and albatrosses (wingspan about 3.5m) with the exception of the condor-like ''Argentavis'' and the seagoing ''Pelagornis sandersi'' (both with wingspans perhaps up to 7m). Pterosaurs evolved to be much larger, but then anything bigger than a ''Quetzalcoatlus'' (wingspan about 10m) is running up against the SquareCubeLaw -- it gets ''really'' difficult to take off, since the wings become too heavy to overcome their own weight, let alone the rest of the body. The largest bird species generally spend most of their flight time gliding rather than flying, and prefer to land on a high point rather than the ground, as they tend to need a downward dive at the beginning of a flight to build up momentum. In fiction, if any effort is made at all to explain why an overly large flying creature can exist, the go-to explanations are low-gravity planets and [[HandWave magic]].

Not to be confused with large airplanes such as the 747 and An-225; for those, see CoolPlane and UsefulNotes/PlaneSpotting.


!!Examples of Large Flying Predators

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* In ''Anime/GreatMazinger'' -- one of the ''Anime/MazingerZ'' sequels -- an entire division of the army of {{Robeast}}s were giant birds.
* ''Franchise/YuGiOh'' Slifer The Sky Dragon, The Winged Dragon of Ra, and many others.
* Lots and lots of these in ''Franchise/{{Digimon}}''. Often times it's someone's partner Digimon (such as [=ShineGreymon=]), though there are a few notable exceptions (such as Azulongmon).
* The Mass-Production [=EVAs=] from ''[[Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion End Of Evangelion]]''. Picture a bone-white humanoid vulture with a ''200-foot'' wingspan, [[EyelessFace no eyes]], a permanantly-grinning mouth with incongruous red lips and bad teeth, and you may end up like [[HeroicBSOD Shinji]] or [[EatenAlive Asuka]].
* Grown up shadow dragons from ''Manga/NaruTaru''.
* Several types of insects from ''Manga/NausicaaOfTheValleyOfTheWind''.
* These exist in ''Manga/HunterXHunter''. There a scene in both Anime and Manga where it cuts to Ging, sitting on the back of giant frog. It pans out, and it shows that giant frog is on the back of [[UpToEleven a giant dragon,]] which takes off and flies off into the distance.
* In ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'', there is the Seven-Tailed Demon Beetle, a [[MixAndMatchCritters cross]] between a 6-winged dragonfly (plus tail) and an armored rhinoceros beetle.
* Flying-type Franchise/{{Pokemon}} that can evolve will usually end up being (relatively) large in their final stages. Even non-evolving ones can be this, including [[FeatheredFiend Skarmory]] and any [[OlympusMons flying Legendary]] -- in the latter category, special mention goes to [[AnIcePerson Articuno]], [[ShockAndAwe Zapdos]], [[PlayingWithFire Moltres]] and [[BlowYouAway Rayquaza]].
* In ''The Dragon Dentist'', the dragon of the title is an extremely giant flying beast slowly undulating through the sky, with a village perched like cliff-dwellings on it to house the dentists, also of the title. A predator in the sense that it can be employed in war.

[[folder:Card Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'' has several.
** With the largest one so far being the [[http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=121155 Marit Lage,]] a SealedEvilInACan EldritchAbomination capable of killing a player in a single hit.
** Second prize is EldritchAbomination [[http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=193452 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn,]] which is known as the "Flying Spaghetti Monster" and has a habit of ending games the second it appears.
** In both cases the limitation of fliers are ignored due to both being EldritchAbomination, with the latter even being able to warp reality around itself (and destroy it in the process).

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In a [[ComicBook/Supergirl1972 Bronze Age]] Comicbook/{{Supergirl}} story, the eponymous heroine and Comicbook/{{Zatanna}} fight an ice eagle that is several times larger than a man.
* ''ComicBook/{{Arawn}}'': Siahm traveled to her son Math's castle when she felt the end of his reign was near on a giant eagle. It was killed right when she arrived by a hail of arrows.

[[folder:Fairy Tales]]
* The Roc in ''Literature/TheThousandAndOneNights'' doesn't menace the hero of the story, but she is big enough to carry off an elephant.

* ''Fanfic/TheLifeAndTimesOfAWinningPony'' has rocs, birds that resemble an eagle twenty times larger than normal and fully capable of carrying off a grown pony in their talons.
* ''FanFic/ThePalaververse'': Rocs, enormous birds made of stone. Some tribes of Diamond Jackals hollow them out into living, flying fortresses.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* The Green Death from ''WesternAnimation/HowToTrainYourDragon''. [[AttackOfTheFiftyFootWhatever You know the one.]]
* One of the things ''WesternAnimation/Cinderella3D'', the MockBuster of ''WesternAnimation/{{Rango}}'', takes from the film is the riding of birds, though they did change them to vultures instead of roadrunners.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* As mentioned [[PteroSoarer elsewhere]], large Pterosaurs fill this role in damn near every movie they appear in:
** In Creator/PeterJackson's ''Film/KingKong2005'', this is filled by bat-like creatures which ''[[AllThereInTheManual A Natural History of Skull Island]]'' describes as ''rodents'' which have separately evolved wings.
** ''One-Million B.C.''
** ''Film/TheValleyOfGwangi''
** ''Film/JurassicParkIII''
** ''Film/JurassicWorld''. They can even [[ShownTheirWork swim]].
** And the inevitable [[Creator/{{Syfy}} Sci-Fi Channel]] [[Film/SyfyChannelOriginalMovie original movie]], ''Pterodactyl!''
** The generic Azhdarchids from the 2014 film adaptation of ''Film/WalkingWithDinosaurs''. They're a much more accurate example, though.
* Creator/RayHarryhausen was a big fan of this trope. (How's that for an animation challenge?) In addition to the Pterosaurs mentioned above:
** The two-headed Roc in ''Film/The7thVoyageOfSinbad''.
** The Harpies in ''Film/JasonAndTheArgonauts''.
** The one-headed Roc in ''Film/{{Clash of the Titans|1981}}''.
%%* ''Film/QTheWingedSerpent''
%%* ''Film/PitchBlack'' has a whole flock of nasty things.
* ''Film/TheGiantClaw'', as big as a battleship!
--> "[[PhraseCatcher It's a flying battleship!]]"
* Film/{{Rodan}}, of ''Franchise/{{Godzilla}}'' fame, is a bit of an odd duck here as he's just as likely to fit into any one of the other categories, depending on the director's mood. More often than not, he's a good monster.
** There's Film/{{Mothra}}, especially in her unspeakably horrifying "giant butterfly" form.
** Or Mothra's EvilTwin, [[Film/GodzillaAndMothraTheBattleForEarth Battra]].
** There's quite a few of these like King Ghidorah, [[Film/GodzillaVsDestoroyah Destoroyah]], [[Film/GodzillaVsHedorah Hedorah]] among others.
* A more obscure example is ''[[http://www.reddwarf.co.uk/features/history/in-the-stocks/gappa-1l.jpg Gappa]]: The [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Triphibian]] Monster'', which was even used in a ''Series/RedDwarf'' [[Recap/RedDwarfSeasonIVMeltdown episode]].
* Creator/JamesCameron's ''Film/{{Avatar}}'' has two main kinds of giant flying predator: the Banshees (or ''Ikran''), which are dragon-like, four-eyed and four-winged blue creatures often mounted by the Na'vi; and the very rare Great Leonopteryx (or ''Toruk''), a similar species, only even bigger and [[LawOfChromaticSuperiority red]], that only the most badass Na'vi (and the odd MightyWhitey Bodysurfing in a Na'vi-human hybrid body) have ever been able to ride.
** More specifically, banshees have a wingspan of 13.9 meters while the "Leo" is at least 25 meters. The size of those creatures is deceptive because the Na'vi riding them are 3 meters tall.
* The dragons from ''Film/ReignOfFire'' qualify, especially the male.
* ''Film/PacificRim'': [[spoiler:Otachi is a massive {{kaiju}} with wings that can fly. And it doesn't reveal these wings until it decides the only way to beat Gypsy would be to simply drop it from 50000 feet. Nice plan, but Gypsy had [[RetractableWeapon a sword.]]]]
* It's unclear yet exactly ''how'' big he is due to limited points of comparison, but the [[Film/TheHobbit film]] incarnation of Smaug is ''enormous''. To put it into perspective, the Fell Beasts in ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings'' already have a wingspan as big as or bigger than a 747 jumbo jet. Smaug ''utterly dwarfs'' them.
* The male Muto from ''Film/{{Godzilla 2014}}'' has a pair of enormous wings in place of one set of legs.
* ''Film/StarshipTroopers'' had a scene where a scout was grabbed by a flying bug, until Rasczak uses a sniper rifle to kill his own man instead of shooting the bug.

* ''Literature/HisDarkMaterials'':
** The Cliff-Ghasts, dangerous cliff-dwelling predators.
** In the book ''The Amber Spyglass'' there's a mention of enemy soldiers riding a giant bird, later falling to their deaths due to a laser beam from the Intention Craft.
* Blood Hawks in the Creator/RobertAHeinlein novel ''Literature/GloryRoad''.
* ''Literature/{{Icebones}}'' is a novel that follows the journey of a herd of Mammoths on Mars (just follow along), and at one point their youngest member is menaced by a giant seabird.
* The Red Dragons in the ''Literature/SwordOfTruth'' series.
* In ''Franchise/StarWars'' there are the thranta of Alderaan and the aiwha of Kamino, which both look somewhat like flying whales.
* Creator/MercedesLackey's [[OurGryphonsAreDifferent Gryphons]], who are fully intelligent characters on par with humans, from her ''Literature/HeraldsOfValdemar'' books.
* Wayne Barlowe's ''Literature/{{Expedition}}'', and the SpeculativeDocumentary based on it, ''Alien Planet'', feature the jet-propelled, lance-headed Skewer, which has a 60-foot wingspan. The book also mentions the Ebony Blisterwing, which is said to have a wingspan of up to 1000 feet.
* The Seanchan of ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'' have scouts that ride giant winged creatures called ''raken'' and even larger ''to'raken'' as mounts.To'raken even carry boxes of ten or twenty elite soldiers called Fists of Heaven, which they use for aerial assaults. If they put damane (slave mages) in the transport boxes, they can even be aerial artillery.
* Worsel the Velantian in Creator/EEDocSmith's ''[[Literature/{{Lensman}} Galactic Patrol]]''. The heroes are being dragged by savage other-wordly beasts to a cave in which they will meet their doom when Worsel, a thirty-foot-long sentient flying reptile, drops from the sky and scatters the beasts in a shower of body parts.
* The tarns of ''Literature/{{Gor}}'' are a well thought out example. Despite having a 30 foot (9 meter) wing span they are so light that two strong men can easily lift one above their heads.
* ''Literature/MalazanBookOfTheFallen'':
** The dragons of the series are immense. Most natural dragons have already died out by the time of the main story, but [[VoluntaryShapeshifting Eleint Soletaken]] still have the ability to transform into the massive beasts. It is noted that the Soletaken often rely on sorcery to remain airborne, especially if their wings are damaged.
** The assassins, know as the Shi'Gal, of the [[LizardFolk K'Chain Che'Malle]] are giant even for the race of sentient would-be T-Rexes whose normal size puts their hips at a man's eye level. The Shi'Gal are double that height again and Shi'Gal Gu'Rull grows wings in order to better be able to accomplish his mission in the last two books of the series. He has no problem to lift a carriage, including the horses, into the air and throw it around.
* Dragons of the Literature/InheritanceCycle literally never stop growing. They're typically born from eggs roughly a foot long and within a few weeks are large enough to ride, and nothing is ever said to indicate that that remarkable growth rate declines. As of ''[[Literature/InheritanceCycle Brisingr]]'', less than two years after she hatched, Saphira was so large that jumping down from her back when she is standing up is a long enough drop to either sprain or break bones, and particularly old dragons (before they were wiped out) were said to be mistaken for hills at a distance.
* Many of Visser Three's giant morphs in ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'' fall into this category.
* The short story "Literature/SafeAtAnySpeed" features the Roc, a gigantic alien bird large enough to swallow a car.
* ''[[Literature/TheAdversaryCycle Nightworld]]''. Portals to AnotherDimension have opened sending nightmare creatures swarming across the Earth. To defeat them the protagonists must go on a FetchQuest. Literature/RepairmanJack is flying through an ash cloud over the Pacific Ocean when he suddenly thinks they're flying too close to the ground, only to see a GiantEyeOfDoom staring back at him from a titanic flying leviathan several miles in diameter. Another protagonist heading over the Atlantic has a leviathan swoop down on their jet, [[spoiler:which escapes by flying close to the water then banking hard at the last second. The creature's huge wingspan causes it to clip the water and crash as it tries to follow.]]
* A mother Roc and her chick appear in the short story "Selim, Shadows, and the Sea" by Pamela Love.
* In ''Literature/TheVoyageOfStBrendan'', St. Brendan and his shipmatess encounter both a "gryphon" and an enormous bird who fights and kills the gryphon.
* In ''Literature/{{Railsea}}'', the one rule of exploratory flying is "don't", for just this reason. Some airborne monsters are simply giant birds, some [[FlyingSeafoodSpecial cephalopoid]], and some more Lovecraftian things. Some of things can even set traps for unwary trains.
* ''Literature/TheHorrorOfTheHeights'', by Sir Creator/ArthurConanDoyle, features similar problems with pioneering flight; in an altitude band too high for humans to see (somehow) there is an ecosystem of terribly dangerous organisms, including lighter-than-air jellies and rays that fly like birds of prey.
* Geryon, a massive demon of fraud and keeper of the "Malebolge," flies the heroes of ''Literature/TheDivineComedy'' into the deepest parts of Hell. He's described as a devil [[MixAndMatchCritters with the face of a honest man, body of a multicolored serpent, hairy wings, and a scorpion's]].

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Several of the pterosaurs from ''Series/WalkingWithDinosaurs''. One episode focused entirely on an ''Ornithocheirus'' that had a forty-foot wingspan.
* ''Series/{{Torchwood}}'' has its own pet pterosaur cum watch-flyer called Myfanwy.
* Subverted by ''Series/{{Primeval}}'', in S1 in which the Pteranodon is explicitly stated to be a fish-eater and achieves no casualties other than an accidental injury, and the MonsterOfTheWeek is actually a swarm of smaller, flying pterosaurs who prefer DeathOfAThousandCuts to carrying the food off.
** Played straight in S3 with the giant praying mantis from the future.
* The Reapers in the ''Series/DoctorWho'' episode "Father's Day" (who are also ClockRoaches).
** ''Series/DoctorWho'' had a giant (as in the size of a carthorse) wasp in the episode "The Unicorn and the Wasp".
* The SpeculativeDocumentary ''Alien Worlds: Blue Moon'' features Sky Whales and large predatory feeders called kites.
* The Red Dragon Thunderzord and platform in MightyMorphinPowerRangers season two. Besides the Fire Bird Thunderzord (which, as a fairly traditional aircraft doesn't count for this trope), the rest of Thunderzords could at least hover.
* In ''Series/TheOuterLimits1995'' episode "Tempests", the gas giant Leviathan's atmosphere harbored two giant flyers: "pteranodons," gigantic winged predators that had only been seen on "deep radar" (the characters encounter a skeleton) and "baleens," kilometer-sized jellyfish-blobs that float through the clouds and have dog-sized {{Giant Spider}}s in their guts, either as parasites or symbiotic organisms.
* The flying werepanther that Freya turned into in ''Series/{{Merlin|2008}}''
* A whole flock of man-eating pterosaurs menaces ''Series/TerraNova''.
* Bird {{kaiju}} are popular in the ''Franchise/UltraSeries''. Examples include:
** Birdon from ''Series/UltramanTaro'' is the most famous of the bunch, being a prehistoric rooster-like monster entombed in a volcano for millions of years. He's well-known among fans as [[HeroKiller having killed Ultraman Taro and Zoffy]] by brutally stabbing the heroes to death with his beak, making Birdon a popular choice for when the producers want to bring back a monster.
** ''Series/ReturnOfUltraman''s Bemstar is an extraterrestrial bird-like creature with a BellyMouth that allows it to eat the energy-based {{Finishing Move}}s of Ultra heroes, making it another super-iconic and frequently recurring member of the RoguesGallery.
** ''Series/UltramanOrb'' gives us Maga-Basser, a dragon-eagle creature and the [[ElementalEmbodiment King Demon Beast of Wind]]. It possesses the ability to manipulate atmospheric conditions to create multiple massive tornadoes in a concentrated area.
** Litra from ''Series/UltraQ'' is one of the first two kaiju in the franchise, being a benevolent prehistoric phoenix-like creature awoken to defeat the violent Gomess. She also appears in ''Series/UltraGalaxyMegaMonsterBattle'' as a PintSizedPowerhouse and one of the [[{{Mons}} main heroic kaiju]] of the show.
*** ''Series/UltramanCosmos'' featured an {{expy}} of Litra named Lidorias in a number of episodes. Like many kaiju in the series, she's a GentleGiant, and she occaisionally assist Cosmos or Musashi in some of his battles against [[BigBad Chaos Header]].
** From the original ''Series/{{Ultraman}} comes [[NonIndicativeName Hydra]], an archaeopteryx-griffin kaiju made up by an animal-loving boy. But when the kid is killed in a vehicle accident, his ghost brings his creation to life to destroy all motorists in Japan!

[[folder:Myths & Religion]]
* More than a few flying [[OurDragonsAreDifferent dragons]] get cast in this role; wyverns, in particular, swoop down on many a hero in folklore.
* Griffins in general, [[OlderThanFeudalism going back]] to Myth/ClassicalMythology.
* The Thunderbirds and Piasa of some Native American myths, although the Piasa wasn't always this.
* The legend of the roc (a bird of prey big enough to carry elephants) might have been inspired by ostriches, since being huge and flightless they were thought to be the roc's chicks; a similar theory proposes the giant -- and extinct since the beginning of the second millennium -- elephant birds of Madagascar instead, formerly some of the biggest living birds on Earth and situated just at the edge of the known world of the Arabs.
* The Jewish version of the roc is known as the ziz. It's slightly less famous than the other two gigantic animals of Jewish lore, the behemoth and the leviathan.
** Luckily, Nintendo still did their research when they based the main legendary trio of ''VideoGame/PokemonRubyAndSapphire'' on these 3. Ironically, Rayquaza is probably now more well known than its inspiration.

* The Banshee in ''Pinball/{{Avatar}},'' as part of the "Ride the Banshee" mode. The Limited Edition game also has one on the playfield.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''Franchise/KingdomHearts'':
** ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts1'': The Wyvern Heartless.
** The Dustflier from ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts358DaysOver2'' is basically an upgraded, [[ThatOneBoss really hard]] version. And it's even bigger. There are also some other varients of the Wyvenn in that game.
** The Storm Rider in ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII'' is big enough for your whole party to stand on its back.
* The Twilit Dragon Argorok, boss of the City in the Sky, in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess''.
* The Suckers from ''[[VideoGame/{{Diablo}} Diablo II]]'' are small compared to some of the entries on this page... but are still weird mosquito-things as big as a large man.
* ''VideoGame/SkiesOfArcadia'' has several, with most of them serving as ship bosses. Four of the six biological superweapons known as Gigas can fly, and you can also optionally fight a Roc, a flying kraken, a giant... flying... spider thing, and an enormous [[MetalSlime Looper]].
* ''VideoGame/BreathOfFireIV'' has a flying whale-dragon-god, whom the party has to visit.
* ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaLordsOfShadow'' has, as it's penultimate level and also the final [[ColossusClimb Titan Battle]] a fight against an utterly enormous frickin' [[{{Dracolich}} UNDEAD DRAGON]] that you fight on top of a giant pillar of stone in the [[HellOnEarth LAND OF THE DEAD]].
* ''VideoGame/DemonsSouls'' features the Storm King as the boss at the Isle of the Shadowmen. A huge leathery-winged thing the size of Texas. It also comes accompanied by a fleet of Storm Beasts, smaller versions of itself that are more than twice as big as the player-character.
* ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'' contains a really nasty High Dragon that a group of people have decide is the reincarnation of [[CrystalDragonJesus the Prophetess Andraste]]. You don't ''have'' to fight it, but the cutscene upon entering the mountaintop area suggests that it falls into this category.
** ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'' has another High Dragon as a BonusBoss near the end. This one just wandered into an inhabited area, no crazy dragon-worshiping cults this time around.
** The Archdemon. This presents a bit of a problem for the heroes, as the Blight can only be ended with the Archdemon's death, but it's ability to fly allows it to easily stay out of the Gray Warden's reach. Luckily, Riordan manages to sneak up on it and force it to land by slicing one of its wings open.
* ''VideoGame/ShadowOfTheColossus'': The Roc Colossus falls into this category as it does actively attack you once you shoot at it with arrows, whereas the Serpent pictured above simply flies around -- thank goodness, as by WordOfGod in the artbook, it's the longest colossus at 200 meters (656 ft.) long.
* ''VideoGame/{{Starcraft}}'':
** The overlord and guardian in the first game.
** The campaign mode of the sequel has the Leviathan, which is somewhere between thirty to fifty times the size of a battlecruiser. Even though the game's units [[UnitsNotToScale aren't to scale]], it's clearly meant to be ''enormous''.
* ''VideoGame/DwarfFortress'' has Giant Eagles, which is kind of a misnomer since there aren't any normal-sized eagles in the game. And then there are rocs, which are the third largest creatures in the game behind fully-grown dragons (which take fifty times as long to reach their full size) and giant sperm whales. A newly-hatched roc is as big as a fully-grown giant eagle.
* The Mountain Roc in ''VideoGame/GoldenSunDarkDawn'', which is a) large enough to carry off human prey when Amiti recalls indirectly encountering it as a child, b) large enough that the nation of Morgal worships it as a god, c) large enough to force the camera to zoom out during your boss fight against the damn thing (and you still don't get the whole thing on your screen), and d) large enough that its gizzard acts as a WombLevel, albeit a short one.
* The Zu in the ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' series. Lampshaded in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'' by Tidus if he encounters on in the desert around Home.
--> "How can a bird grow so big?"
* The Mighty Eagle in ''VideoGame/AngryBirds'', which will wipe out all the pigs in a level.
* The main antagonists of ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim'' are large, ANGRY dragons. Much of the time spent fighting them will be trying to get away from them when they're in the air raining fire down on all the things.
* A huge number of the monsters in the ''VideoGame/MonsterHunter'' series are of this nature, the two most recognizable ones being the [[OurDragonsAreDifferent Rathalos]] and [[DistaffCounterpart Rathian]]. They seldom spend much time flying at a height where you can't reach them, generally only doing it when they're moving between areas or for specific attacks. Otherwise, they're usually seen moving about on foot or with a low hover.
* World 5-SHIP: Eagle Path in ''VideoGame/SuperMarioFusionRevival''. Based on the 4th stage of Golden Axe, "The Fiends' Path", this level takes place on the back of a giant eagle. Dangers include homing feathers, large Mana Beasts, and unstable platforms.
* ''VideoGame/SkySerpents'' is based around fighting giant flying serpents, hence the name.
* The [[OurAngelsAreDifferent angels]] of ''VideoGame/{{Darksiders}}'' apparently use [[OurGryphonsAreDifferent griffins]] as mounts and military animals, because at one point you [[UnexpectedShmupLevel steal one and ride on it.]]
* As mentioned in the Mythology Folder. ''VideoGame/PokemonRubyAndSapphire'' introduces Raquayza, based on the Ziz. There are other examples thought the game such as [[VideoGame/PokemonGoldAndSilver Lugia]] and [[VideoGame/PokemonXAndY Yveltal]]
* ''VideoGame/OriAndTheBlindForest'''s BigBad is Kuro, a giant black owl who stole Sein from the Spirit Tree and killed off the Spirit Guardians in revenge for the AccidentalMurder of her offspring [[WeakenedByTheLight by the Tree's light]], and is now after Ori as well.
* ''VideoGame/XenobladeChroniclesX'': Planet Mira has a lot of extremely large giant flying creatures, with the man-sized jellyfish things being the ''smallest'' examples by far. The largest fliers could probably make a nest out of a football field. Interestingly, most of them won't attack you: you're way too small to be considered a meal or a threat, so unless you attack them, they'll ignore you. Until you get your HumongousMecha. ''Then'' they'll take notice.
* Armaura, the BigBad featured in ''VideoGame/EagleIsland'', is a giant eagle deity.
* ''VideoGame/HorizonZeroDawn'' has the Stormbird, a machine that looks like a giant, mechanical eagle. It's size is at least vaguely justified in that, being a machine, it has engines mounted on its wings that give a machine the size of a small house the power needed to fly. Also, its size may have had an in-universe purpose as well due to its original role in [[spoiler: detoxifying the Earth's atmosphere after the Faro plague -- there's likely all sorts of air-purification equipment in there]]. For Aloy though, its size and weaponry make it a boss fight by itself.

[[folder:Web Animation]]
* ''WebAnimation/{{RWBY}}'' has a class of Grimm known as a [[Creator/EdgarAllanPoe Nevermore]], which is of course, [[CreepyCrows a gigantic crow]]. These are big birds, and are pretty dangerous, usually requiring multiple hunters to take down. Or a Gatling gun.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/ABeginnersGuideToTheEndOfTheUniverse'': While most of the flying [[AlwaysChaoticEvil void beasts]] are about the same size as the animals they were based on, there's [[HeelFaceTurn Chairman Jack]] -- a sparrow about as tall as a dog -- and void pigeons with the wingspans of hang gliders, which stand around twice as tall as the Everyman.
* ''Webcomic/AnsemRetort'': "Ride, my [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyX world-killing god whale!]] Ride into battle!"

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Lord Dragon, Glaserwyrm, and Draco, from the ''Roleplay/GlobalGuardiansPBEMUniverse'', were all honest-to-God dragons. Glaserwyrm was simply a monster to be beaten down. Lord Dragon was a dragon who turned into a man to act like a superhero, while Draco was a man who turned into a full-blown dragon and fought crime as a superhero.
* A giant winged bull shows up in ''Literature/VoidDomain'' to wreck havoc.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* On ''WesternAnimation/JimmyTwoShoes'', these are a common site in [[CrapsackWorld Miseryville]]. At different points, they've snatched up Beezy, Lucius, and Samy.
* Parodied hilariously in ''WesternAnimation/KorgothOfBarbaria'', where the giant fearsome flying predators are... pigeons. Granted, they are [[AttackOfTheFiftyFootWhatever pigeons the size of a T. rex]] but still... A similar joke was used by a [=FedEx=] ad campaign.
* Flying [[PlantAliens plant creatures]](!) called "Swoopers" in the ''WesternAnimation/StarTrekTheAnimatedSeries'' episode "The Infinite Vulcan". There are also Flyers in other episodes (such as "The Eye of the Beholder") who are said to be different species but use the same character models.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'':
** Adult dragons are colossal, easily as big as a large house, and tend to be ferociously predatory.
** In "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS8E11MoltDown Molt Down]]", Spike is hunted and neatly eaten by a roc, an eagle-like bird of prey the size of a full-grown dragon, attracted to the smell he starts emitting during his molt. It's stated that rocs, alongside hydras and [[SandWorm tatzlwurms]], are the biggest danger faced by young, molting dragons newly kicked out of their homes, tracking them down through the smell they produce and stopping at nearly nothing to devour them.

!!Examples of Leathery Winged Avians

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* The "Birds of the Master" in the ''Valerian'' album named after them.
* Pterodelph (or whatever this big white thing is called) from Arzak.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* Abyssgreymon from ''Transcendence: Digital Curse'' is a Super Ultimate digimon who is about the same size as a Sovereign. He is forced into servitude by the first villain of the series.
* The Shadow Roc in ''Fanfic/AGrowingAffection'', which is similar to the Tailed Beasts, allied with Orochimaru to gain control of his Jinchuriki. The Roc is described as being weaker than Shukaku, but so large all nine Beasts could ride on its back and have space between them.
* [[http://i.imgur.com/Xu27n1y.jpg Bahamut]] from ''Roleplay/LordsAmongTheAshes'' is an incredibly powerful [[{{Kaiju}} Titan]] that swims through the sky of [[DeathWorld the Dark Continent]] and, like the [[WebAnimaiton/{{RWBY}} Grimm]], [[KillAllHumans lusts for the death of all humans]].

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* ''Disney/TheBlackCauldron'': The Horned King keeps two Gwythaints, which he sends to kidnap the prophetic pig Hen Wen. They're portrayed as a sort of mix between a wyvern and a pterosaur, in a departure from the original book series where they're described as large vulture-like birds.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* Gyaos of the ''Franchise/{{Gamera}}'' series.
* The Fell Beasts used as mounts by the Ringwraiths in ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings''. While they are more vaguely described in the books, here they are portrayed as large, leathery-winged and scaled, with two legs, long necks and blunt, snakelike heads. They are used by the Ringwaiths almost like reconnaissance planes while patrolling the lands around Mordor, but are taken directly into battle at Osgiliath, Minas Tirith and the Black Gate.
* Otachi from ''Film/PacificRim'' resembles a giant reptilian bat capable [[spoiler:of lifting a giant robot of equivalent size]], and like all Kaiju exists for the purpose of [[spoiler:destroying human civilization so that the civilization that made it can take over the Earth]]. Its ability to fly also more or less invalidates any use the wall system can have of keeping Kaiju confined.
* The Leviathans from ''Film/{{The Avengers|2012}}'' are flying, armor-plated whale monsters used by the Chitauri as a combination of siege engines and war animals in the invasion of New York.

* ''Literature/LoneWolf''.
** The Zlanbeasts and Kraan; ugly reptilian creatures with leathery wings serving the [[EvilOverlord Darklords]] as flying mounts from them and their various troops.
** The Grand Master series also features the Lavas, dragon-like monsters in direct service of [[BigBad the god Naar]].

* Flying monkeys from ''Literature/TheWonderfulWizardOfOz''. Though it should be mentioned that, in the book, the Monkeys are merely flying predators who were enslaved by the Wicked Witch of the West via a magic hat which may be used to summon the monkeys three times. [[spoiler:Dorothy gains the rights to this hat after killing the Witch, and the Monkeys aid her and her friends three times. Dorothy then handed the hat off to the Good Witch of the South, who declared she would use her three to get Dorothy's friends back home. She then gives the hat to the King of the Monkeys so no one else could use it, effectively freeing the monkeys.]]
* The ''Literature/{{Pellucidar}}'' novels by Creator/EdgarRiceBurroughs just cut to the chase and make the winged Mahar the BigBad; they further feature the savage Thipdars.
* The Rooks controlled by the Dark in ''Literature/TheDarkIsRising'' straddle the line between this and the flying predator subtrope.
* In ''Discworld/GuardsGuards'', mention is made several times of the fact that 'noble' (ie, giant and mythical) dragons are, intrinsically, ''wrong''; nothing that big with that wingspan should ever be able to fly -- Sybil even mentions the thing about how you can't just scale something up and expect it to work. The only way they can survive in the real world is by, essentially, feeding on magic. Lots of it. And that doesn't go so well once the magic starts running out.
* The Fell Beasts of ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'', vaguely-described creatures with vast, leathery wings used by the Ringwraiths as flying mounts. There are also the the winged dragons such as Smaug, some of [[{{Satan}} Morgoth]]'s most terrible minions. Particular mention should be made of Ancalagon the Black, the greatest of all the dragons of Middle-earth. He was so large that he could blot out the light of the sun even from a great distance, and when he was slain and thrown down ''his body utterly smashed'' the three peaks of Thangorodrim (three ''very'' large volcanoes).
* ''Literature/BoredOfTheRings'' parodies this trope, and its use in''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'', by having the Black Riders fly killer pelicans.
* The original Gwythaints of ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfPrydain'' are almost a subversion. They ''used'' to be good; they were peaceful flying creatures akin to real-life condors. Somehow, they were corrupted by [[BigBad Arawn]] -- [[spoiler:but there is still good in them. Taran rescues a young Gwythaint who later [[AndroclesLion goes on to rescue him.]]]]
* The Ak-Baba from ''Literature/DeltoraQuest'' were monstrous flying servants to the BigBad. They scattered the jewels of Deltora across the land and terrorized the heroes on more than one occasion.
* In the book ''Literature/DarkLordOfDerkholm'' by Creator/DianaWynneJones, the titular character (and protagonist) is supposed to have a supply of Leathery Winged Avians on hand. What he actually ends up using are a flock of rather snarky intelligent geese.
* Creator/HPLovecraft:
** The byakhee from "The Festival".
** The night-gaunts from ''Literature/TheDreamQuestOfUnknownKadath''.
* There's also meet night-gaunts in Creator/NeilGaiman's ''Literature/TheGraveyardBook'', and they're actually [[DarkIsNotEvil pretty nice]].
* ''Literature/InheritanceCycle'': The Lethrblaka ("leather-flapper" in the Ancient Language), monstrous, man-eating creatures resembling draconic pterosaurs with arms as well as legs and wings. The Ra'zac use them as transportation when going around doing King Galbatorix's business. ([[spoiler:They're also the adult form of the Ra'zac]]).
* Many of Visser Three's giant morphs in ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'' fall into this category.
* In ''Literature/StarWarsKenobi'', Jabba's thugs keep flying reptilian Kaven whistlers in the ceiling of his townhouse, and feed delinquent debtors to them.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/StargateSG1'' once faced a dragon, in their final season. Vala named it Darryl.
* The series finale of ''Series/{{Angel}}'' had Angel going to fight a large dragon once the city goes to hell. By the beginning of After the Fall he has become Angel's ally.

[[folder:Myth and Religion]]
* The [[HarpingOnAboutHarpies harpies]] of Myth/ClassicalMythology could be seen as the trope makers for the Leathery Winged Avian variant.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/Warhammer40000'':
** The Tyranids have a large number of flying monsters in their army. The Harridan is a huge winged monstrosity with razor sharp claws, pointy teeth and acid-shooting "bio cannons". Often carries around flocks of Gargoyles, smaller flying Tyranids. Harpies act as living bombers with a screech that can rupture eardrums. Hive Crones will wrestle enemy aircraft out of the skies before strafing ground forces with their stomach acids. Sky Slashers are nothing so much as fanged maws with bat wings that attack in huge swarms. Finally, Shrikes act as synapse creatures, keeping the other dying units connected to the HiveMind.
** The daemons of Tzeentch, the Chaos God of sorcery and manipulation, have a distinct avian theme, and many are capable of flight.
* Many ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}}'' armies have access to giant flying monsters as mounts for characters, mostly classic mythological monsters such as Dragons, Griffons, Pegasi, Wyverns and Manticores, although there are also stranger creatures like the dragon-sized zombie bat known as a Terrorgheist. The closest to the classic ''Lord of the Rings'' type is probably the Wyvern, available to Orc warbosses and great shamans.
* In the ''TabletopGame/IronKingdoms'' world, any of the spawn of [[OurDragonsAreDifferent Ever blight]] that happen to have wings. They all have chitinous plates where their eyes should be, but make up for it by having an prodigious number of sharp teeth, as well as a variety of other natural weapons such as claws and blight-breath. The Angelius has itself no less than six wings. And then they are further topped by Archangels.
* In ''TabletopGame/DragonDice'', all races have access to the eponymous dragons by summoning them through magic. Most races have some form of flying cavalry or monster in addition to having access to dragons.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Metroid}}'':
** Ridley, although he's not really a servant of the Mother Brain, as he's the leader of the Space Pirate army who ally with her.
** ''VideoGame/MetroidPrime2Echoes'' also features the giant moth Chykka.
* The giant Pteranodon in ''VideoGame/EccoTheDolphin''.
* ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'': Yveltal, a massive bird-like Pokémon and also a god of death. If it dies, it can rebirth itself in a dark reflection of a phoenix, sucking the life out of everything for miles around.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'' has the Bulldog Dragon, a creature summoned at one point against the heroes. It's basically what you'd get if you combined a bulldog, a bat, and a goat while making it the size of a small car and reptilian.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/CodeLyoko'', the Frelions and flying Mantas are XANA's aerial fight force. The Frelions are GoddamnedBats of the swarm kind, and the Mantas are occasionally used as steeds (most notably William's Black Manta).

!!Examples of Deus Ex Machina Airlines

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* Birdramon from ''Anime/DigimonAdventure'' was ridiculously large compared to the rest of the cast; large enough that several of the chosen could ride ''on her feet''. Other Giant Flyers include Zhuqiaomon from ''Anime/DigimonTamers'', Qinglongmon from ''Anime/DigimonAventure02'', and Imperialdramon. Imperialdramon, furthermore, had two different forms: one was [[AnthropomorphicShift humanoid]] and used mainly for combat (called "Fighter Mode"), while the other was a quadruped with a domed glass-like shield on its back which it could carry passengers in.
* Many (if not all) of the dragonets that appear in the manga and anime of ''Manga/NaruTaru'' can fly and carry their owners with (or even ''inside'') them.
* One application of [[YaoiFangirl Haruna's]] ability in ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'' involves her [[ArtInitiatesLife sketching]] different kinds of giant flyers to be used for quick transport.
* ''[[Anime/YesPrettyCure5 Yes! Pretty Cure 5GoGo!]]'''s Syrup, when he isn't busy being a cute little boy or cuter [[NonHumanSidekick penguin]], can also become what's been described as a "birdplane."
* Kohaku in ''Anime/SpiritedAway''.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* The giant hawks flown by the Chosen Eight in ''ComicBook/ElfQuest''.
* Several comic book characters ride flying horses; Valkyrie, Black Knight, Dreadknight, Shining Knight, basically a lot of knights.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* ''Fanfic/DragonsofIceandFire'': Sonagon the ice dragon, even compared to the three dragons Dany has. ''Especially'' compared to the three dragons Dany has. He's described as a "flying mountain" more than once, and Jon can bring 20-30 men with him when they go flying.
* ''Fanfic/WithStringsAttached'':
** George [[VoluntaryShapeshifting turns into a pegasus and a dragon]], always acting as a Deus Ex Machina Airline for Ringo and, usually, someone else (As'taris and the Hunter). Of course, he becomes many smaller kinds of flyers as well.
** He continues this trend in ''Fanfic/TheKeysStandAlone: The Soft World'', though he's too prudent to fly as a dragon where anyone might see him (and take a shot at him). Twice he becomes a giant eagle to carry one of the others when riding isn't an option; Ringo ''hates'' this, since it makes him feel like George's dinner!
* [[spoiler:Sacredgreymon]] drives Abyssgreymon from Digital City near the end of ''Transcendence: Digital Curse''.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* Dragon in ''WesternAnimation/{{Shrek}}''.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheLandBeforeTime'' [[FranchiseZombie VII]] features a Giant Flyer (really as that's what Pterosaurs are called in this verse) who was able to transport ''all of the characters'' off the top of a volcano just before it erupts. Certainly, there were some impressive Pterosaurs in real life. Not so sure if one would give a young sauropod a ride.
* Marahute in ''Disney/TheRescuers Down Under''.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* Pegasus in ''Film/{{Clash of the Titans|1981}}''.
* Once again, more than a few dragons:
** Falkor in ''Film/TheNeverendingStory''.
** Draco in ''Film/{{Dragonheart}}''.
* ''Film/MirrorMask'': "Bob! [[PlanetOfSteves Bob!]] [[MixAndMatchCritters Malcolm!"]]
* ''Franchise/StarWars: Film/AttackOfTheClones'' features the [[SpaceWhale giant winged cetaceans]] called [[http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Aiwha Aiwha]], used by the Kaminoans as transport.
* In ''Film/AfterEarth'', a giant eagle saves Kitai from freezing to death by covering him with its wings. Previously, Kitai defended the eagle's nest from a pack of big cats.
* In ''Film/LadyInTheWater'', the Great Eathlon is a giant eagle-like creature who takes Story away in the end.
* In ''Film/YamatoTakeru'', Amano Shiratori, the White Bird of Heaven, is a giant metallic swan-like being sent by Amaterasu first to save the infant Prince Ousu from being killed and returning years later [[spoiler:in time for the final battle with the Yamata no Orochi where it serves as a mount, then becomes part of Yamato Takeru's Utsuno Ikusagami form, and finally carries the heroes back to Earth]].

* ''Literature/LoneWolf'':
** The Itikars, giant birds used as steeds by the Vassagonians. Lone Wolf gets to ride one in book 5.
** Lone Wolf also "borrows" a Zlanbeast on a few occasions to travel through enemy territory.

* Gwaihir and the other Eagles in ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings''.
* Gwahno in ''Literature/BoredOfTheRings'' is the Sub-TropeNamer.
* The Skybax in ''Literature/{{Dinotopia}}'' are a rare example of friendly large Pterosaurs.
* Of course, the ''Literature/DragonridersOfPern''.
* The Gars in ''[[Literature/SwordOfTruth The Sword of Truth]]'' series. They're only about man-sized, and can only seem to carry skinny teenage girls, or wizards using magic to make themselves lighter.
* Another Garth Nix example: in ''Literature/ShadesChildren'', "Wingers" are leather-winged flying beasts. Technically, that would put them in the category directly above, but as Shade notes, the normal laws physics makes it impossible for them to fly, but the [[AppliedPhlebotinum Change Reactors]] make it possible.
* The Dirigible Behemothaurs from [[Creator/IainBanks Iain M. Banks]]'s ''Look to Windward'' are giant flyers of a sort, though very large (large enough to provide living space for dozens of human-shaped creatures in their various nooks and crannies) and rather slow and inscrutable. You generally wouldn't chat to them, certainly.
* The night-gaunts in Creator/BrianLumley's ''Hero of Dreams'' series. Yep, they've switched sides since Lovecraft's day (see above).
* The Caterbird from Literature/TheEdgeChronicles always shows up at the exact right time. In fact, it promises to do so as soon as it's introduced.
* Falkor the luckdragon in ''Literature/TheNeverendingStory''.
* Dragons in the ''Literature/InheritanceCycle''.
* Tobias has been this in ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'' when the others are in insect morph. Other times they just morph birds themselves.
* The Roving Reptilian Rescuers in The 13 1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear, including the aptly named Deus X (Mac) Machina.
* John Varley's ''Titan'' series features sentient blimps. A species of symbiotes lives inside their "stomachs" and helps them out by bringing in vegetable matter for the blimps to digest. Blimps are pretty laid-back and it's possible to convince one to give you a ride, as long as you're not carrying fire or any means of making fire, which they're scared to death of for good reason... they get around the square-cube law by internally producing hydrogen so they're lighter than air (but also rather explosively flammable).
* ''Franchise/StarWarsLegends'': Among the many species that went extinct when Alderaan exploded were a number of massive flying creatures called thrantas, used as beasts of burden and steeds. The largest species could carry passenger vessels the size of ships. Fortunately, before this happened, one species was exported to the gas giant Bespin, which has an entire airborne ecosystem.
* In ''Literature/TheDarkangelTrilogy'', many of the [[SapientSteed guardian beasts]] [[spoiler:ridden by Irrylath's brothers in the final battle]] fall under this category: specifically, the [[WingedUnicorn starhorse]] Avarclon, the [[BasiliskAndCockatrice cockatrice]] Elverlon, the [[MixAndMatchCritters newt-ape-bat-creature]] Ranilon, the [[OurGriffinsAreDifferent gryphon]] Terralon, and the [[PantheraAwesome four-winged leopard]] Zambulon.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Kilgharrah in the series 2 finale of ''Series/{{Merlin|2008}}'' carries Merlin back to Camelot.
* Drogon the dragon in ''Series/GameOfThrones'', along with his "mother" Daenerys, rescues Jon's team from beyond the Wall in Season 7. Notably fails to rescue Jon himself, who has to ride to safety on his own.

[[folder:Myths & Religion]]
* Pegasus, the flying horse tamed by the hero Bellerophon and that served as his steed when he vanquished the Chimera, may be the Ur-example.

* A Brontitall rescues Arthur in a self-aware example (naturally) from the second season of the original ''[[Radio/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy]]'' radio series.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Flammie, from the ''VideoGame/WorldOfMana'' series, a giant... [[OurDragonsAreDifferent dragony-thing]] the heroes used as [[GlobalAirship transportation]].
* Parodied in ''Literature/TheHalfbloodChronicles''. One of the heroic Dragons gives a ride to a character who has just joined with the heroes. They both come away from the experience saying that it had to be the most uncomfortable way to travel imaginable.
* ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'' has an amusing application of this trope in the form of the teachable move "Fly". Any Pokémon who can learn it effectively becomes your Deus Ex Machina Airline. (In practice, this means you are able to revisit important locations within the game.) The list of characters who can carry you while flying includes everything from creatures who fit the Giant Flyer trope, like the big, badass dragon Salamence. But it also hilariously includes tiny little [[GoddamnBats Zubat]] and (possibly the most amusing) [[http://img217.imageshack.us/img217/8254/comic188.png Doduo]], a two-headed flightless bird thing ''without wings''. Generally the entire evolutionary lines of common bird Pokémon (Pidgey, Hoothoot, etc.) can learn Fly even in their small initial forms (for one thing, Pidgey's Pokédex entry calls it a Tiny Bird Pokémon). Natu stands out as a rare example of a common bird Pokémon that ''can't'' (like Pidgey, it is also described as a Tiny Bird Pokémon), though its evolved form, Xatu, can.
** Much more amusing than Doduo is Smeargle. They aren't bird-like or winged at all (they're dogs with paintbrush tails), but that doesn't stop them from [[PowerCopying sketching]] and using Fly.
** Best of all for a Deus Ex Machina Airline? A [[OlympusMons Legendary Pokémon]] like Rayquaza, Moltres, or Ho-Oh. You are riding a friggin' phoenix, or the Ziz itself.
** This is even funnier if you have a Golurk and teach it Fly. It's a possessed golem about twice the size of the player, and many fans depict it with a [[RuleOfCool built-in jetpack]]. Which is how the anime ended up depicting it, too.
** ''[[VideoGame/PokemonSunAndMoon Sun and Moon]]'' replace Fly, along with most of the out-of-battle moves, with the Ride Pager, which allows you to call up certain Pokémon to where you are to perform those tasks. Fly's role is done by Charizard, allowing you to fly around the Alolan islands as you please on the back of a dragon.
* Many an episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheFlintstones'' has the characters flying on airplanes mounted on giant pterodactyls, as well as planes with smaller pterodactyls as engines.
* The dragon/pterodactyl at the end of ''[[VideoGame/AnotherWorld Out of this World]]''.
* ''VideoGame/RuneFactoryFrontier'' has a whale shaped island that you can use a beanstalk to climb onto. This island is intelligent and needs your help to defeat the infestation of monsters inhabiting the very large dungeon inside of itself.
* In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword'', Link and his Red Loftwing pull the CatchAFallingStar gambit as a matter of ''routine''. He comes from a FloatingContinent, where leaping to your doom and whistling for a nearby bird to rescue you is just how people get around.
* The giant Pteranodon in ''VideoGame/EccoTheDolphin''.
* Fluzzard from ''VideoGame/SuperMarioGalaxy2'', which is a giant parrot in which Mario must ride on in the "Wild Glide" and "Fleet Glide Galaxies" to obtain their Power Stars, and later on he must use him to race a team of hummingbirds.
* ''VideoGame/{{Solatorobo}}'' has [[SpaceWhale the Master of the Clouds]], who is used to travel from the Shepherd Republic to [[spoiler:Earth]].
* Ba'ul from ''VideoGame/TalesOfVesperia'' becomes the party's GlobalAirship once he evolves into [[SpaceWhale a more mature form]], being able to easily carry their boat around once they tie it to him.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Wardner}}'', a certain enemy in Stage 3 will drop an ocarina that summons a giant phoenix that can carry the player over most of the stage.
* In the cancelled ''VideoGame/{{Shantae}}'' game for the UsefulNotes/GameBoyAdvance, ''[[http://www.twitch.tv/wayforwardtv/b/467113071 Risky Revolution]]'', Sky's bird, Wrench, was going to be revealed as having grown really big in the period after the first game, and would have served as the GlobalAirship for Shantae. Played straight in ''Half-Genie Hero,'' where Wrench serves as Shantae's transport between levels.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* The giant birds in ''[[http://www.alpha-shade.com/ Alpha Shade]]''.
* One of Aylee's many forms in ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'' is a fifty-foot tall flying dragon.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Appa the flying bison from ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' serves as the heroes' main mode of transportation.
* ''WesternAnimation/DinosaurTrain'': The mother and father of the ''Pteranodon'' family seem to be in competition as to who has given their adopted son Buddy ([[TyrannosaurusRex a theropod of the non-flying persuasion]]) the most rides.
* Sky Lynx on ''Franchise/TransformersGeneration1'' qualifies as this (on top of being a BigDamnHero).

!!Examples of Normal-Sized Flyers (that appear giant due to the scale of the other characters)

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* The bird from ''WesternAnimation/ABugsLife''.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Epic}}'': ALL birds from Leafman perspective, but in particular the hummingbirds and crows which are actually used as mounts.
* The hawk from ''WesternAnimation/{{Rango}}''.
* Orville and Wilbur in ''Disney/TheRescuers''. Then again, they are albatroses for better or worse. Orville has to fall almost the entire height of the UN Building to accelerate beyond stall speed, and when Wilbur approaches the RAS outpost in the Australian outback, he is described as a "jumbo", and the rooftop airfield isn't designed to accomodate a bird of his ginormous size.
* Jeremy in ''WesternAnimation/TheSecretOfNIMH''.

* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}''
** Constable Buggy Swires of the City Watch; a gnome who maintains a squad of (semi)trained pigeons -and a turkey vulture in ''Discworld/MonstrousRegiment''.
** Predating Buggy Swires is The Death of Rats riding Quoth the Raven and the (semi)trained pigeons (see ''Discworld/SoulMusic'' which happens two years before ''Discworld/{{Jingo}}'').
** One of the Nac Mac Feegle in ''Discworld/TheWeeFreeMen'' has a trained Sparrowhawk whom he rides around on. This is probably a direct parody of...
* ... the titular characters in ''The Minnipins''. They're tiny gnomes who ride upon birds. Of course, they happen to know a huge Mute Swan who can carry their new human friend.
* Long before he wrote it into Discworld, Pratchett gave geese to the Floridian Nomes in ''Literature/{{Wings}}'', the last part of the ''Literature/NomesTrilogy''.
* Gnomes in the ''Gnomes'' and ''Secrets of the Gnomes'' illustrated books hopped a lift on large birds quite often. One slightly {{Narm}}y illustration shows a pair of gnome newlyweds being carried off to their honeymoon by a swan.
* ''The Fledgling'' [[JustifiedTrope justifies]] this by hinting that there's [[WaifProphet something up with the heroine]] that allows her to ride upon the Goose Prince [[spoiler:and that allows her to fly on her own]].
* Woe betide the person who says it's cute how the [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy Gallivespians]] of ''Literature/HisDarkMaterials'' ride around on dragonflies... Though, no matter how small the Gallivespians are, it was mentioned (or at least implied) that the dragonflies were bigger than modern-day ones, perhaps at [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meganeura Meganeura]] size.
* ''Literature/TheWonderfulAdventuresOfNils''. A boy gets shrunken and ends up traveling with a flock of geese by riding on one's back.
* Normal-sized owls, crows, hawks -- and Kehaar the gull -- in ''Literature/WatershipDown'', since the heroes are rabbits.

!!Other Examples

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* The Fly Card of ''Manga/CardcaptorSakura'', which took the form of a giant bird before Sakura sealed it in the first episode.
* One episode/chapter of ''Manga/FlyingWitch'' features a magical flying whale large enough to have ''trees'' and ''ruins'', including a large temple, on it's back. Apparently people lived on it's back many years ago, but have long since abandoned it.
* ''Franchise/LyricalNanoha''
** Jiraiyo, the giant flying beetles that Lutecia [[SummonMagic summons]] in ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaStrikers''.
** You also catch a glimpse of a giant bird [[MonsterOfTheWeek Jewel Seed monster]] in the [[Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanoha first season]], during the period where the [[TheFederation Time-Space Administration Bureau]] was already helping Nanoha.
* The adult dragons from ''Manga/NaruTaru''. They can also be as [[OurDragonsAreDifferent bizarre]] as the flying colossus in the example picture above.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* ''Fanfic/LastChildOfKrypton'': When [[EldritchAbomination Shamshel]] attacks, several characters note that itís a skyscraper-sized flying creature.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* The Flying Whales in ''WesternAnimation/BattleForTerra''.
* The biomechanical 200-tonne dew collector in the animated adaptation of ''Literature/TheLostThing''.

* The titular creature in ''Literature/{{Leviathan}}'' fits the other trope name: AirWhale.
* Creator/TamoraPierce can go here because hers are varied and hard to categorize. She has traditional dragons and griffins; kudarung, which are traditional winged horses except that they come in widely varied sizes, making some of them Pocket-sized Flyers; hurroks, clawed, predatory "horse-hawks" with batlike wings; and Stormwings, which are [[WingedHumanoid half human, half giant sharp-metal-feathered bird]], and aren't evil but do take natural pleasure in human suffering. They're all immortal unless killed (except possibly the kudarung, which aren't specifically identified as immortals and might not be, since they didn't enter the human world under the same circumstances as the immortals the readers know).
* In Stephen Baxter's book ''Literature/{{Evolution}}'', he invents a species of pterosaur dubbed the "air whale" with wings a hundred metres across. Living off tiny creatures in the stratosphere, it had paper thin hollow bones. They mated on the highest mountain peaks and it is suggested there are very few of them due to the lack of food. Able to circumnavigate the globe with the aid of wind currents, it need never touch the ground.
* Various species of alien fauna from Wayne Barlowe's classic SpeculativeDocumentary sci-fi book ''Expedition'', including the fierce "[[http://www.waynebarlowe.com/expedition_pages/exped_skewer.htm Skewer]]" (essentially a ''Killer'' [[SpaceWhale Air Whale]]) and the bizarre "[[http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/2/2e/Expedition_cover.jpg Rugose Floater]]" (seen on the cover).
* In the medieval Irish romance ''Literature/TheVoyageOfMaelDuin'', Máel Dúin and his crew encounter a bird so large they initially think it is a cloud, and which carries in its beak a twig as large as an oak tree. It turns out to be completely harmless.
* ''LightNovel/DaybreakOnHyperion'' has sky whales. Tame ones are used as a mass transportation or shock troops in battle. Pods of wild ones are a major danger for large herds of animals, both wild and domesticated.
* In ''Literature/ThisImmortal'', [[MixAndMatchCritters spiderbats]] can grow large enough to catch and carry off a man.
* In ''Literature/TheStormlightArchive'', the SpiritWorld of the Cognitive Realm has "mandras", colossal flatworm-like flying creatures with multiple sets of legs and manta-like wings. Although their body shape could never fly normally, as spren, they're spiritual beings who aren't quite bound by normal physics. They're also quite useful for pulling ships.

[[folder:Myth and Religion]]
* [[FeatheredSerpent Quetzalcoatl]] from Myth/AztecMythology was such a giant flyer that he became the namesake for a real life one, the below mentioned ''Quetzalcoatlus''. There is some debate on whether or not he actually had wings (he's frequently depicted as a feathered snake in every sense of the word, including being limbless), but almost every version of his feathered serpent form is a huge flying creature.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'':
** In the ''AD&D'' edition of ''TabletopGame/DarkSun'' campaing setting, "Cloud Rays" akin to enormous flying manta rays appear as an extremely dangerous monster.
** And of course, in most settings you have [[LongList dragons, wyverns, rocs, manticores, chimeras, sphinxes...]]
* A design mechanic in ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'' gives all colors an iconic species as a large, dramatic, expensive creature, and all except Green[[note]]Who gets Hydras, and has [[AntiAir a dislike of flying]] as a game mechanic anyway[[/note]] have flying. White gets Angels, Blue gets Sphinxes[[note]]Although this role is sometimes filled by the usually -- [[FlyingSeafoodSpecial usually]] -- non-flying Leviathans[[/note]], Black gets Demons (or sometimes just large Vampires), and Red gets Dragons.
* ''TabletopGame/FantasyFliers'' is a free set of rules for playing fantasy air combat in miniature, allowing the use of a wide variety of technological and magical constructs, standard fantasy flying beasts such as dragons and pegasus, various sizes of bugs, bats, and [[FlyingSeafoodSpecial sea creatures]]. Since they are often used as mounts, but can fly alone, acting as predators, prey, and enemy troops, this game could fit all the above categories.

* ''Toys/{{Bionicle}}'':
** Gukko and Nivawk, both giant cyborg birds used as transport.
** Plus the Nui-Rama, giant cyborg insects.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* The flying Colossi from ''VideoGame/ShadowOfTheColossus'', Avion and Phalanx. Phalanx (pictured) takes the cake as the single largest Colossus in the game (it's twice as long as the final Colossus is tall). Interestingly, neither are hostile: Avion needs to be provoked into fighting you, and Phalanx mostly ''ignores you'' for the entire "fight", only trying to shake you off if stabbed.
* All of the above are very, very possible in ''VideoGame/{{Spore}}'', due to the existence of Epic Creatures. Flying epic creatures in particular are somewhat more deadly than regular ones, especially ones with higher levels of flight, because they can move much more silently and quickly than normal ones.
* In the skies of the ShadowWorld of ''VideoGame/AgeOfWonders: Shadow Magic'' swim whale-like Skwahl. They aren't present (at least in the official ruleset), but the description of floating [[http://aow2.heavengames.com/aowsm/gameinfo/units/syrons.shtml#forceship Forceship]] unit says Syron make them from hollowed carcasses of old Skwahl.
* [[OurDragonsAreDifferent Dragons]] in ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' get to be pretty massive, though special mention goes to [[BigBad Deathwing,]] who's been described as "airliner-big." [[WordOfGod According to the artists for the Cataclysm cinematic]] his wingspan is ''1,200 feet'' from wingtip to wingtip.
* The Wind Fish in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaLinksAwakening''. Made sillier by its absurdly tiny wings.
** ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword'' has Levias, a giant [[SpaceWhale whale]] who flies around in the Thunderhead [[spoiler:and is initially possessed by [[BodyHorror Bilocyte]]]].
* ''VideoGame/QuakeII'' has the Hornet (aka Flying Guardian), a hovering insectoid cyborg thing.
* Half-Life has huge manta ray-like alien fliers who at some points in the game drop alien grunts. In ''Opposing Force'', they appear right at the beginning when they start shooting down Osprey troop carriers with their lightning rays.
* ''VideoGame/DevilSurvivor2'' gives us an EldritchAbomination Alioth's warship, which is so big that it is the only EldritchAbomination in the game which can be seen in a satellite photo. It pretty much levels Sapporo when it's shot down. The UpdatedRerelease's new campaign has Denebola, which while not nearly as massive as Alioth is still huge enough to dwarf the Tokyo Skytree, the tallest tower in the world.
* The Sand Bird from ''VideoGame/SuperMarioSunshine'' is literally a sand bird and fully capable of flight.
* Another giant bird, this time from ''VideoGame/BravelyDefault'': the [[CoolPlane Hre]][[Myth/NorseMythology sve]][[BlowYouAway lgr]] summon.
* In Minecraft, there are the [[OurDragonsAreDifferent Ender Dragon]], which is one of largest mobs in the game, as well as the [[EldritchAbomination Ghast]], and arguably the [[EldritchAbomination Wither]]. All three are, at least partially, Justified. The Ender Dragon inhabits a separate dimension, where the laws of physics might very well be entirely different. The Ghasts are implied to be [[OurGhostsAreDifferent undead]], and the Wither is a magical construct, which presumably flies as part of that magic.
* ''VideoGame/TotalWarWarhammer'': Flying units are a fairly large part of the game, adding a new dimension to battlefield tactics from previous Total War titles, although theyíre not present to the same degree in all armies.
** For the Empire, Emperor Karl Franz can unlock his massive griffin, Deathclaw, as a mount. Generals of the Empire can also ride smaller griffins, while Imperial Amber Wizards can ride green-feathered jade griffins.
** Similarly, Orc heroes can come mounted on wyverns.
** The Vampire Counts have access to a large number of flying units, most notably Vargheists, vampires that have been driven insane by centuries of imprisonment and mutated into giant batlike monsters. In addition, they can raise Terrogheists, the reanimated husks of bats the size of dragons, as well as actual zombie dragons.
** The Warriors of Chaos can unlock a two-headed chaos dragon as a mount for their lords.
** The Wood Elves are also a fairly aerial faction. They get a unit of missile cavalry mounted on giant hawks, and in addition get giant eagles and forest dragons as both mounts for their hero units and as individual monstrous units.
* ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'' series' lore tells of werevultures native to the forests of Valenwood, a form of [[OurWerebeastsAreDifferent were-creature]] who transform into giant carrion birds. They've yet to make an in-game appearance, however.
* The [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roc_(mythology) Rukhs]] in ''VideoGame/SonicAndTheSecretRings'' are, like the legend they're based on, enormous flying creatures. In this game, they double as TurtleIsland in that a civilization had been built on the backs of a flock of them in the past, each of them carrying roughly a city block's worth. Appropriately, they are found only in the stage known as [[LevelsTakeFlight Levitated]] [[RuinsForRuinsSake Ruin]].
* When [=McQueen=] visits the DarkWorld in ''VideoGame/TheDarksideDetective'', an enormous flying ... thing ... can be seen swooping through the AlienSky. [=McQueen=] doesn't get a good look at it, nor stick around long enough to find out which subcategory it fits into.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/GeorgeTheDragon'' features a large green dragon who has the habit of swooping down from the sky to humiliate humans in sadistic games of tag.
* Hibachi the [[DinosaursAreDragons Dragon]] in the webcomic ''Webcomic/TheInexplicableAdventuresOfBob''.
* Perca (Priscila S. Piccin) uses large flying creatures in multiple of her comics including a giant space whale in [[http://perca.deviantart.com/art/KOM-round-3-76895404 Killer of Monsters]], a flying Whale in the [[http://perca.deviantart.com/art/OCBZ-Highway-Round-1-116834645 OCBZ Highway]] with a man riding it called pedro, and a similar whale (plus pedro) in [[http://boobtrap.smackjeeves.com/comics/483268/chapter-1-pg-4/ Boobtrap]].
* Lampshaded in ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'' [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0754.html #754]]. When the large-bellied, small-winged dragon ruler of The Empire of Blood decides to ''fly'' to a royal parade, a dumbstruck Vaarsuvius remarkes that they should avoid casting magic for the rest of the day, "if only to give the laws of physics time to cry alone in the corner."
* ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'': [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20121130 Add the Heterodynes' Franz]] to the list. He admits to cheating a bit.
* The flying whales and White Steel Eels from ''Webcomic/TowerOfGod''.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Godslave}}'', the second ''ba'' takes the form of a giant, bird-shaped tree. Which, in violation of all rules of physics and then some, can actually fly.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* The alien [[http://davesrightmind.deviantart.com/art/Cloud-Grazer-157715056 Cloud Grazers]].
* Also, [[http://abiogenisis.deviantart.com/art/The-Shadow-of-the-Sun-58459821?q=&qo= these creatures]] from another alien planet with microgravity.
* ''Argentavis'' is #5 on ''Website/{{Cracked}}'''s [[http://www.cracked.com/article_18445_7-thankfully-extinct-giant-versions-modern-animals.html 7 (Thankfully) Extinct Giant Versions of Modern Animals]].
* In ''Roleplay/ThereIsNoGATEWeDidNotFightThere'', the titular King of the Sky from the interlude *The Myth, The Legend, The King of The Sky* is an enormous Thunderbird composed of storm channels, blotting out the entire sky. Kytheus compares its size to that of the earth dragon his grandfather had slain before his birth, and whose bones have the ''main city of the Rhavenfell built into them.''

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheHerculoids''. Zok the dragon, who can fire [[FrickinLaserBeams laser beams]] [[EyeBeams from its eyes]] and tail.
* [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin ''Skywhales'' features skywhales]]. [[CallASmeerpARabbit Though they look more like long-necked manta rays.]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zVmKhNG6S3o Youtube]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* The genus of pterosaur known as ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quetzalcoatlus_northropi Quetzalcoatlus]]'' (where "quetzalcoatl" is Aztec for "feathered snake" and was the name of a major god) had a wingspan of 10-11 metres and was [[http://www.dailyfailcenter.com/55529 as tall as a giraffe]].
** Some early estimates of ''Quetzalcoatlus'', based on incomplete skeletons and extrapolations from better-known pterosaur species, was even larger as it ranged up to 16-21m. Better understanding of the azhdarchids (the family of pterosaurs to which Quetzalocoatlus belonged) anatomy brought the estimates down as ScienceMarchesOn.
** ''Quetzalcoatlus'' has a Romanian cousin named ''Hatzegopteryx'', which may have been even ''bigger'' than its American counterpart; one of the most common estimates is that the creature had a whopping 12-metre wingspan. That said, some have theorized that ''Hatzegopteryx'' and ''Quetzalcoatlus'' were actually the same species, although later findings suggest that this isn't the case (the two animals had a lot in common, but there are enough differences between them to suggest that they're separate species). These differences include the fact the European version had a much shorter, much thicker neck and was built to kill much larger prey (namely cow-sized dwarf sauropods), being the unrivalled apex predator of the area.
* The most commonly depicted pterosaur in popular culture: ''Pteranodon'', was pretty large as well, with an average wingspan of 4-6 metres (not quite as big as ''Quetzalcoatlus'' but still). In fact, [[ScienceMarchesOn before]] ''[[ScienceMarchesOn Hatzegopteryx]]'' [[ScienceMarchesOn came along]], ''Pteranodon'' was considered the second largest flying animal to have ever lived. And before ''Quetzalcoatlus'' was discovered, ''Pteranodon'' was considered the largest flying animal, ''of all time''[[note]]Fun fact: ''Pteranodon'' was so large, that before ''Quetzalcoatlus'' was discovered, it was believed that if a flying animal got any bigger than ''Pteranodon'' it would physically unable to fly at all[[/note]].
* Though it was a sparrow compared to the above mentioned pterosaurs, ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harpactognathus Harpactognathus]]'' is the largest known non-pterodactyloid pterosaur, with an estimated wingspan of eight feet. It's also thought to have acted something like a large bird of prey, making it similar in both size and behavior to a modern eagle.
* Another extinct animal: the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giant_Teratorn Giant Teratorn]] (''Argentavis'') had a smaller wingspan of up to 8 metres, but was the largest flying bird of all time. Later, ''Pelagornis sandersi'' broke the record.
** Similarly, there were the little-known pelagornithids (or pseudotooth birds), seabirds on steroids that had tooth-like bony projections on their beaks. They appeared soon after the K-T event (filling the ecological space vacated by the extinction of large, fish-eating pterosaurs) and persisted until around 2.5 million years ago; the largest, ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osteodontornis Osteodontornis]]'', capped at a 20ft wingspan. Scientists speculate that it behaved like a modern-day frigatebird (basically the meanest bird on the open seas) and had a throat pouch like a pelican (basically the meanest bird on the beach). Now imagine a beach full of those things. Happy picnicking!
* For a more recently extinct animal, one that humans probably did interact with, there's always the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haast%27s_Eagle Haast's Eagle]] of New Zealand, at about 3 meters. They hunted moa, which ranged up to 15 times their weight (and are also ''bigger than humans''), and lived up until a few hundred years ago.
** It has been noted that, based on puncture marks found on moa pelvises, the Haast's Eagle was probably a fairly specialized hunter of the same. Moa were big, feathered bipeds. The earliest Maori colonists were most likely wearing feather cloaks same as they do now. This might have caused... issues.
** In the end, HumansAreTheRealMonsters, because the overhunting of its food supply drove the eagle into extinction.
* Not as well known as Haast's Eagle, but equally big (similar wingspan, lighter body) is [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woodward%27s_eagle Woodward's Eagle]], which has been found in the La Brea Tar Pits. Some experts think the Thunderbird legend was inspired by encounters with it by early Native Americans.
* Rounding out the extinct animals, we have ''Meganeura'' and its relatives from the Carboniferous period. A wingspan of 70 centimeters (27 inches), it sounds puny compared to most of the animals listed here until you find out that it was a ''[[BigCreepyCrawlies dragonfly]]''.
* The still living [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wandering_albatross Wandering Albatross]] has to settle for a mere 3.7 metres (12 feet) at the most.
** Which is pretty big, and the Albatross has to launch itself off cliffs to get into the air because it's too heavy to take off.
** Other modern birds with very large wingspans include the Andean condor (3 meters), the marabou stork (3 meters), the great white pelican (3.5 meters), and the southern royal albatross (3.6 meters).
* Bats are definitely the losers in the "real life giant flyer" competition, as even the largest living flying fox species' wingspan is 1.7 meters at most. Fossils of Eocene bats of approximately flying-fox-size have been found, but as yet there are no specimens with sufficient wing bones to tell us if they exceeded that scale.