(i) Let's be more precise about the scientific rationale of Staurnian flight in Poul Anderson's The Star Fox
(London, 1968). Staurnians are hydrogen breathers who should have less
active metabolisms than oxygen breathers and Staurnian gravity is twice
they have bird-type bones;
the lower energy of hydrogen molecules is more than compensated for by their greater numbers in the Staurnian atmosphere;
the enzyme systems are efficient;
there is so much ultraviolet from the sun that the plants build very energy-rich compounds.
The basic Staurnian social unit is a patriarchal household which would
not have been able to raise them above savagery. Somehow, possibly by
conquest and slavery, they did build a global industrial civilization
which, however, destroyed itself in a nuclear war. Staurnians were happy
to revert to patriarchal households, especially since these are now
armed with nuclear weapons with which they can attack each other and
which they can sell to visiting outworld traders!
Staurnians are less adversely affected by radiation, having more of
it in their environment, their Nests are mostly underground and there
are no incendiary effects in a hydrogen atmosphere. A Guild of older
males arbitrates, defends Staurn and deals with outworlders.
Staurn, an obvious anagram of "Saturn," also connotes to me "stern" and
"storm." When Heim said that he would buy weapons from a place of that
name, it seemed appropriate.
(iv) Staurnian wings are "...chiropteran..." (p. 74) I cannot find this word in a dictionary.