Binomen Balenornis vivipera
Body type Cetacean
Average length 12 meters
Sentience Sentient
Sapience Non-Sapient
Place of origin Southern Ocean
Habitat Open seas
Diet Planktivore
Locomotion Swimming
Related species Porpin
Behind the Scenes
Universe After Man
Created by Dougal Dixon
Designed by Dougal Dixon

The Vortex (Balenornis vivipera) is a 12-meters long oceanic penguin species and the largest animal to inhabit the Earth of 50 million years in the future.


The Vortexes, along with their smaller relatives called Porpins, are modified descendants of modern penguins and belong to the new lineage of birds known as Pelagornids. Despite what their scientific name suggests, Vortexes are not truly viviparous, but rather ovoviviparous: the egg is retained within the mother's body until it's time to hatch. They inhabit the southern oceans and feed on plankton. Like their ancestors and all known bird species, they are warm-blooded. Their beak structure is described as being like "a very fine mesh of bone plates" and is used to filter the water for plankton.


  • After Man: A Zoology of the Future, by Dougal Dixon (1981)
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