|“||That is one ugly-ass bird.||„|
Psychovultures, also known as Vultura Insanus, are flying reptilian kaiju that first appeared in the 2017 MonsterVerse film, Kong: Skull Island. The Psychovultures have a subspecies known to Monarch, simply known as Leafwings, or Icarus Folium.
The name "Psychovulture" comes from a mix of "psycho", a state they go into upon ingesting certain poisonous pufferfish, and "vulture", which is a reference to their avian form.
For their subspecies, "Leafwing" comes from their wing design, which is both green, and shaped much like a leaf, which is multiplied by the veins running through their wings, which look like leaf veins.
Psychovultures are gray, large, bat-like creatures, possessing a wide wingspan, and snub-nosed skulls.
Leafwings are smaller, more pterosaur-like creatures that are about the same size as adult humans. They are green in color with yellow heads, orange wings, and long spear-like snouts covered with jagged edges.
The roar of the Psychovulture is described as a "sequence of jaw clicks and guttural whines", meant for echolocation purposes.
The Leafwing's roars are made up of various chirps and squeaks.
The Psychovultures are hypothesized to exhibit signs of psychopathy by willingly inducing psychoactive effects by ingesting poisoning pufferfish native to their island. The resulting mania caused by the chemical agent pushes the Psychovulture to indiscriminately hunt down and destroy everything it encounters, even members of its own species.
The Leafwings live and hunt in large flocks. They're described as less aggressive than their larger counterparts, but are still prone to attacking and are dangerous nevertheless.
|“|| Perfectly evolved for domination of the skies, the aerodynamic Psychovulture grows to a wingspan of up to 9 feet. A soft tissue patagium stretches across a rigid bone structure to form a kite-like foil that cuts effortlessly through the with winds above Skull Island. The animal's optic nerves lack light receptors, suggesting blindness, but further investigation of the nerve impulses suggests the creature has evolved a form of thermal vision that enables it to locate hot-blooded prey from the night skies above. Its thin skull uses a sequence of jaw clicks and guttural whines to trigger echolocation, which can put the creature at risk from its own kind.|
This winged, bat-like predator may be the first creature on Earth to exhibit signs of psychopathy. An airborne creature of pure aggression, it self-induces psychoactive effects activated by ingesting a poisonous pufferfish indigenous to the waters of Skull Island. The mania this chemical agent induces drives the Psychovulture to destroy or disrupt any lifeform it encounters, even going so far as to hunt and kill its own kind. A relatively small digestive system suggests the creature has evolved to feed on plantlife and small animals, yet it has been observed dragging off prey that is far too large for it to ever consume. For the Psychovulture, it seems that to kill is sustenance enough.
— Monarch Creature Profile
|“|| A sub-species of the Psychovulture, this leaf-winged creature features an extended cacti proboscis with sharp fibrous spikes sprouting along its length. The Leafwing takes its name from the frond wings that stem from its central torso, which are coated with a fine epicuticular wax that is secreted from the stomata during flight, before hardening in the cool night air. The wings are highly coveted by the Iwi, who hunt down the airborne creature and grind its wings into a fine powder believed to have unique psychotropic properties. They are, however, a hard-won prize, given the creature's natural camouflage. Nesting in large numbers in tree canopies at the summit of the mountain, Leafwings are perfectly hidden by the Forest of the Heavens.|
Though much less aggressive than its deadly cousin the Psychovulture, the Leafwing is nevertheless a dangerous airborne predator. The spikes along its bone trunk are laced with powerful anesthetic agent that is deployed as the creature dive bombs its prey from on high, spearing them with its weaponized snout.
— Monarch Creature Profile
The main human characters encountered the Psychovultures several times while on the island. Normal Psychovultures don't have a real role in the movie, but their Leafwing subspecies do. Preston Packard sniped one in the head while he and his group tried to rendezvous with the others. Several carried away Victor Nieves and killed him by tearing him apart. Another flock unintentionally aided a Skullcrawler in attacking the humans when they were trying to cross through the boneyard, and James Conrad managed to kill some with Hank Marlow's katana.
A flock of Psychovultures attack Aaron Brooks and his team, forcing the team to jump from their aircraft.
After Kong kills the Sirenjaw that attacked Aaron's team, a flock of Psychovultures and a pack of Death Jackals arrive to feed on the carcass.
Utilized by the Leafwings, this agent is present on their spear-like beaks. This reduces the victim's sensitivity to pain, thus allowing the Leafwing to attack and eat its prey without contest or resistance from its victim.
An entire flock of Leafwings can perch on leafless trees and use their wings as camouflage in order to hide from both prey and predators.
Psychovultures can utilize echolocation to find their prey.
Psychovultures can apparently emit bolts of electricity from their mouths, as seen from the comic Skull Island: The Birth of Kong.
Hunting and Scavenging
Leafwings will swoop down like birds of prey when they see a target that is away from the group to bring it up to the sky, as shown when one dragged Victor Nieves from Hank Marlow's boat. They are also scavengers that feed on the kills of other predators.
Speed and Agility
Leafwings can fly through the air with great speed.
Strength and Combat
Leafwings are strong enough to carry adult humans with their talons, as well as ripping off a man's limbs easily with their sharp snouts.
This can be utilized by Psychovultures against fellow Psychovultures as per the former statements of its self-induced psychopathy. The echolocation would be detected by others who then go in for the attack in their psychopathic states.
While deadly in flocks, the Psychovultures are easily killed by single gunshots or from being bisected by sharp objects.
- Even though that Leafwings are said to be subspecies of the Psychovultures, they have different genus and species names.
- Psychovultures are similar to the bat-like Terapusmordax from the 2005 King Kong film.
- The scene where the Psychovultures carry off Nieves and devour him mid-air is similar to a scene from the movie Pitch Black, where the Bio-Raptors carry off a woman and tear her apart in flight.
- Leafwings were originally based on stingrays.
- Some merchandise erroneously refers to the Psychovultures as "pterodactyls".
- The Leafwings are one of the smallest known MonsterVerse kaiju, only being larger than the Giant Wasps and the Giant Ants.
List of appearances
- Kong: Skull Island: The Official Novelization
- Godzilla: King of the Monsters - The Official Movie Novelization
|Kong: Skull Island|