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Old Sep 7 2007, 07:02 AM   #1
OnyxDrake
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Default Wherry, wherefore art thou wherry

I'm really trying to visualise what a wherry looks like and how big it is and what it's habits are. Any ideas?

Also, the avian species... where these Terran in origin?

Thank you in advance...
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Old Sep 7 2007, 07:30 AM   #2
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Default Re: Wherry, wherefore art thou wherry

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Originally Posted by OnyxDrake View Post
I'm really trying to visualise what a wherry looks like and how big it is and what it's habits are. Any ideas?

Also, the avian species... where these Terran in origin?

Thank you in advance...
There's a picture of a wherry in the DLG, but I can't find an online picture.

They're omnivorous, and pretty endemic to all parts of Pern - plains, mountains and coastlines. Assume they also live in caves, as they need protection from Thread. Wherries will scavenge, eat fish, snakes, flit hatchlings and probably bugs and fruits as well. They could really do with more prey species, to be honest, but Pern is lacking in those so I guess it's snakes or nothing.

What do you mean by "avian" species? The colonists brought very few with them - I think the chickens survived but the turkeys didn't - but not many more because the EEC survey had seen wherries and flits, and didn't want to introduce competition against native species. Todd's falcons are canon-breaking, sadly.

The "mystery" large flying object in Dragonsdawn was just Kenjo flying his light aircraft, seen from a distance.
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Old Sep 7 2007, 07:57 AM   #3
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Default Re: Wherry, wherefore art thou wherry

I got the impression that wherrys would eat anything it could scavage or catch. It was mentioned that wherrys were the main preditor on the planet. Of course I do not think until man came there were ant large animals on the planet.
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Old Sep 7 2007, 11:05 AM   #4
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Default Re: Wherry, wherefore art thou wherry

I have a picture of wherry from DLG:
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Old Sep 7 2007, 11:08 AM   #5
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Default Re: Wherry, wherefore art thou wherry

Yeah, that's the one I was thinking of!

Key features that are described in the books: six limbs, and very primitive feathers. The eyes are drawn similarly to flit eyes, but I don't know that there's actually canon text to back that up.
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Old Sep 7 2007, 11:12 AM   #6
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Default Re: Wherry, wherefore art thou wherry

Citation from DLG :
Quote:
Wherries had no feathers. Their bodies were covered with thick proto-feathers, multiple tufts like marabou. Their wings were cartilaginous and membranous under the thick down. Like the other native animals of Pern, wherries had six limbs: two wings, two front feet, and two back feet. The front feet, which were much smaller than the back two, had one mobile claw that locked into two rigid claws like pincers, which were used to grab and rend. The back legs were well-muscled and could be employed to kick powerfully, as well as to help the bird leap into the air. Their three toes canted backward when they flew, to keep from being caught by animals on the ground or other wherries. The big avians turned cannibal when one of their numbers was wounded or killed.

Wherries nested in caves or rocky out-croppings, much as Earth seabirds do. They ate fish, carrion, tunnel snakes, insects, offal, or garbage.
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Old Sep 7 2007, 11:19 AM   #7
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Default Re: Wherry, wherefore art thou wherry

What's your point?
Quote:
Key features that are described in the books: six limbs, and very primitive feathers.
Quote:
Wherries had no feathers. Their bodies were covered with thick proto-feathers, multiple tufts like marabou.
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Old Sep 7 2007, 11:36 AM   #8
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Default Re: Wherry, wherefore art thou wherry

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What's your point?
I have just copied the text from DLG What is only clear: wherry is covered with some stuff which cannot be called "feathers".
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Old Sep 7 2007, 11:54 AM   #9
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Default Re: Wherry, wherefore art thou wherry

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I have just copied the text from DLG What is only clear: wherry is covered with some stuff which cannot be called "feathers".
Primitive feathers == proto feathers.

They can be called feathers, after a fashion, so long as it's clear they're only the very early type.
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Old Sep 7 2007, 12:29 PM   #10
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Default Re: Wherry, wherefore art thou wherry

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They can be called feathers, after a fashion, so long as it's clear they're only the very early type.
Look at tufts on Marabou head (just to compare - that definitely cannot be called normal feathers): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Marabou-stork-DC.jpg
The difference between proto-feathers and feathers is the same as between the precursor and the product. In evolution scale the difference is millions years.
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Old Sep 7 2007, 01:48 PM   #11
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Default Re: Wherry, wherefore art thou wherry

I always pictured a wherry as about the size of a capercaillie
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Old Sep 7 2007, 04:31 PM   #12
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Default Re: Wherry, wherefore art thou wherry

While I do like the DLG illustration, it isn't terribly accurate. It's not very plump looking, looks NOTHING like a turkey as is described in the books, doesn't have a long neck... but they got the proto-feathers perfectly.

This image is more how I picture them, it just needs the proto-feathers and an extra pair of limbs. http://annemccaffreyfans.org/forum/a...9&d=1172277073
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Old Sep 8 2007, 08:55 AM   #13
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Default Re: Wherry, wherefore art thou wherry

You did Kath, so while do you feel it is necessary to point it out again?
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Old Sep 8 2007, 02:39 PM   #14
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Default Re: Wherry, wherefore art thou wherry

I'd like to point out here that "wherefore" has a meaning closer to "why", and not "where" as many people believe. In Romeo & Juliet, she is not wondering where her beloved is, but rather asking why he is the son of her sworn enemy.

So to asnwer the Subject line question, why they are called wherries is because they looked, to the EEC surveyors rather like large, flat-bottomed barges that once plied their trade between England and France. A fuller description is here: Ubiquitous Wikipedia Article and various pictures on Google Images (other search engines are available)
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Old Sep 8 2007, 06:35 PM   #15
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Default Re: Wherry, wherefore art thou wherry

Wary Wherry
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What will you seek today
A lizard nest,
Or a snakey pest?
Or will you just soar away?
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Old Sep 9 2007, 08:53 AM   #16
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Default Re: Wherry, wherefore art thou wherry

Good one Sandi
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Old Sep 9 2007, 10:01 AM   #17
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Default Re: Wherry, wherefore art thou wherry

Very nice one, Sandi!
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Old Sep 9 2007, 10:27 AM   #18
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Default Re: Wherry, wherefore art thou wherry

Just trying to lighten the mood a little.
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Old Sep 9 2007, 10:59 AM   #19
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Default Re: Wherry, wherefore art thou wherry

Oh yes Sandi....I like it..I think it just about says it all about Wherry's...ROFL!!!
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Old Sep 9 2007, 01:45 PM   #20
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Default Re: Wherry, wherefore art thou wherry

Sandi I like it as well!
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Old Sep 9 2007, 04:23 PM   #21
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Default Re: Wherry, wherefore art thou wherry

Very nice, Sandi!
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Old Sep 12 2007, 04:24 AM   #22
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Default Re: Wherry, wherefore art thou wherry

As for Onyx's other question regarding the "avian species" mentioned in some of the books, I never noticed them being mentioned until SoP and I wondered where they had popped up from.

I think that they are briefly mentioned in DLG (am on holiday so do not have it with me), and maybe either DD or TPS in CoP. I got the impression that many of the birds taken by the colonists were disposed of by tunnel snakes and wherries. I'm not sure if they took song-birds with them.
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Old Sep 12 2007, 06:20 AM   #23
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Default Re: Wherry, wherefore art thou wherry

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As for Onyx's other question regarding the "avian species" mentioned in some of the books, I never noticed them being mentioned until SoP and I wondered where they had popped up from.

I think that they are briefly mentioned in DLG (am on holiday so do not have it with me), and maybe either DD or TPS in CoP. I got the impression that many of the birds taken by the colonists were disposed of by tunnel snakes and wherries. I'm not sure if they took song-birds with them.
They didn't take many birds full-stop, except turkeys and chickens - which adapted with VERY mixed success. They had DNA and sperm/ova for other species, but with the EEC report noting the flits and wherries, they weren't meant to produce them.
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Old Sep 12 2007, 11:38 AM   #24
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Default Re: Wherry, wherefore art thou wherry

There are the whersports - I'm guessing there are varieties of wherry-like species, not just one generic type for the whole planet.
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Old Sep 14 2007, 07:20 AM   #25
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Default Re: Wherry, wherefore art thou wherry

I wonder if there would be different wherry species... Such as larger plain-dwelling types... Or ones that have adapted more to certain environments. Judging that there probably weren't any forests when the colonists landed the forests probably only came much later when the grubs had been established... but there would still be wherries that were adapted more to coastal or mountainous terrain.

Agh.. the mind boggles.
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Old Sep 14 2007, 07:32 AM   #26
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Default Re: Wherry, wherefore art thou wherry

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I wonder if there would be different wherry species... Such as larger plain-dwelling types... Or ones that have adapted more to certain environments. Judging that there probably weren't any forests when the colonists landed the forests probably only came much later when the grubs had been established... but there would still be wherries that were adapted more to coastal or mountainous terrain.

Agh.. the mind boggles.
Trees like birches can re-seed and establish themselves across grassland very rapidly - a decade or two. Then you get gradual replacement by other species.

After a 200 year pass, I find the lack of forests on Pern far more implausible than their presence would be.
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Old Sep 14 2007, 07:43 AM   #27
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Default Re: Wherry, wherefore art thou wherry

I'm sure there forests when the colony was started. The EEC team would have found it odd if there weren't forests, just as they really worried on the lack of ruminants. No mention of a lack of trees was made by the colonists, who surely would have wondered at their sudden lack. Indeed I think even the circular bare patches noted by the EEC team were gone by the time the colonists arrived, as they weren't mentioned/studied by them.
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Old Sep 14 2007, 09:34 AM   #28
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Default Re: Wherry, wherefore art thou wherry

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I'm sure there forests when the colony was started. The EEC team would have found it odd if there weren't forests, just as they really worried on the lack of ruminants. No mention of a lack of trees was made by the colonists, who surely would have wondered at their sudden lack. Indeed I think even the circular bare patches noted by the EEC team were gone by the time the colonists arrived, as they weren't mentioned/studied by them.
You're right - what the colonists did notice compared to the EEC report was a lot of re-growth, giving credence to the post-bombarment theory explaining the mysteries of the initial report.
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Old Aug 6 2021, 09:34 PM   #29
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Default Re: Wherry, wherefore art thou wherry

Currently I'm trying to make an illustration which includes a wherry. And that creates problems - starting with "protofeathers." Dinosaurs are supposed to have had "protofeathers" so putting them onto a Pernese flyer would seem to be logical. BUT the protofeathers on wherries are also supposed to be defensive against thread. To quote Anne in the 1977 letter that is illustrated on Michael Whelan's website: "they have down more than feathers ... sort of undeveloped feathers. I'd say all Pernese have slick body coverings , rather than feathers which would trap thread as it passed down their bodies or attached itself to them to eat. Horrible thought."

My problem - feathers are slick, they are designed to make rain slide off a bird's body. Protofeathers and down are fluffy, for warmth. The DLG illustration has a downy body and unflyable wings. Down would act as a thread magnet, not a thread repellant. Google illustrations are no help.

I'm thinking some kind of hard carapace like beetle wingcovers and a leathery skin - and surely some bone in the wings to give them some rigidity.
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Old Aug 7 2021, 03:18 PM   #30
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Default Re: Wherry, wherefore art thou wherry

Just thought of something LOL as I was looking at a different post
I think that they had something like a membrain and the down pro-feathers covered them, I don't recall from which book I I am thinking of it might be Dragonlovers; GjGuide to Pern orThe Chroncles of PPern: Survey of Pernc . aandor DraDragondawns but they arekinda like the fire lizar come to mind for their wing structure, I can't see to check my printed books or audio at the moment.


But by the time thtthegroup was cchecking over the Ecc reports growth had covered them by them, they had fastgrowing trees, and don't forget the Skybrooms sp? They would have to have to be quickl

I hope I helped a bit with a llitttle I recall, still geting my transferred files set up on.in my new PC yet.
Wherries have skin,, for Sean has the rider eqequipment mamade out of tanned wherhide, so I think I recalled right, also you have to skin a wheery and thney are tanned for Mennely used the raw skin to take htake home the wild one at heher cave near the Dragonstones,, also she said something about and thinking how to ttann a skin right thinkness tfor bboots bottoms but now how to attach them she was not so sure. So I think that the Tuffs were there to keep them warm while the skin/hide was used for flying , aalso ECC saw two tytypes of them,, and depending on what they aate there flesh and fat, and I wounder the color of there tuffs byby what they ate, There is a image discription of a tom with tail like like a turcky or a I am using those that I recall the best rto help trigger my own memory in the huntting for the bulding of Cove Hold in the oP for Jaxom shows Ruth a imental image of it. Sorry I Hope what I rcalled can help out. s

beforePlus have to shop for a new player/recorder I'm thinking too.
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Old Aug 7 2021, 05:36 PM   #31
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Default Re: Wherry, wherefore art thou wherry

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I always pictured a wherry as about the size of a capercaillie
I remember the dragondex in the books saying they were ostrich-sized.
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Old Aug 8 2021, 05:27 AM   #32
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Default Re: Wherry, wherefore art thou wherry

I'm thinking wherries come in various sizes and the bigger ones probably prey on the smaller ones, which would solve the problem of what they eat. Carnivores have to have prey of some kind. And, given the reported size of the dragons, at least some of them would have to be at least ostrich-sized to be any use to them as food. Flocks of wild wherries would be a lethal pest to cot-holders' livestock, especially poultry and smaller animals like domestic cats and dogs, pigs, sheep and goats.

I've seen a regular garden blackbird dive-bomb a cat, and I had one flat where a pair of kingfishers would attack my Siamese cats every time they went outside. - their own fault, they'd eaten the kingfishers' only chick. But imagine if they were the size of turkeys, would the cats have had a chance?

As for tanning wherry hide, I did once have a tanned pheasant hide with the feathers still on it. The actual hide was very thin and translucent, it wouldn't have been strong enough to make clothing out of but could have been added to clothing for decoration. It was worn out when I gave it to someone who made trout flies for a hobby. Shoe soles are made out of the thickest part of cowhide - herdbeast on Pern.
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Old Aug 8 2021, 03:52 PM   #33
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Default Re: Wherry, wherefore art thou wherry

I figured that "wherry" was just the generic name for any native, birdlike animal on Pern, like how "bird" can refer to anything with feathers, from hummingbirds to ostriches.

There could be different kinds of wherries, to fill a wide variety of echological niches, everything from large, flightless herbivores or omnivores (the kinds of wherries kept as livestock and that dragons eat alongside herdbeasts), to the seaside hunters/scavengers that prey upon Firelizards.

For all we know, before humans showed up, Pern was a "Wherry world", similar to how New Zealand's ecology was based around birds before humans showed up there. With the threat of thread, it would make sense that the majority of the planet's terrestrial life would evolve to either outrun/fly or hide from Thread falling. Apparently Pern has a thriving oceanic biosphere. I'd love to hear more about that. It's about time Pern got their own Jacques Cousteau or David Attenborough.
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Old Aug 9 2021, 08:39 AM   #34
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Default Re: Wherry, wherefore art thou wherry

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I figured that "wherry" was just the generic name for any native, birdlike animal on Pern, like how "bird" can refer to anything with feathers, from hummingbirds to ostriches.

There could be different kinds of wherries, to fill a wide variety of echological niches, everything from large, flightless herbivores or omnivores (the kinds of wherries kept as livestock and that dragons eat alongside herdbeasts), to the seaside hunters/scavengers that prey upon Firelizards.

For all we know, before humans showed up, Pern was a "Wherry world", similar to how New Zealand's ecology was based around birds before humans showed up there. With the threat of thread, it would make sense that the majority of the planet's terrestrial life would evolve to either outrun/fly or hide from Thread falling. Apparently Pern has a thriving oceanic biosphere. I'd love to hear more about that. It's about time Pern got their own Jacques Cousteau or David Attenborough.
That makes sense, given Anne's use of collective nouns like "herdbeast" and "burdenbeast," and whers, like dragons, were the product of genetic engineering whether you take Anne-canon or Todd-canon regarding them. The question arose out of me trying to set my fan-fiction in a believable ecosystem while still remaining true to canon.
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Old Aug 11 2021, 03:17 PM   #35
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Default Re: Wherry, wherefore art thou wherry

Well The were called buck I think it was The White DrRengaines of
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