‘ARK: Survival Evolved’ Guide: Pelagornis Taming And Use

ARK: Survival Evolved players have long been bugged by being thrown off birds when touching water. The 245.0 PC update and upcoming 739 Xbox One adds the Pelagornis to the aerial mix, which can also swim safely in the water.

Where to Find the Pelagornis

As expected of a water-based bird, the Pelagornis can be found in the surrounding ocean of The Island map. It’s most common in the southern portions of the water around the Western Coast, plus the north eastern shore areas and down the east coast.

On the Center, the Pelagornis can commonly be found in the water between Jungle South and Redwood Island. The northeast portion of the map around Half-Burnt Island and Tropical North Island along with the smaller islands near it.

The Pelagornis is not aggressive in the wild. In fact, it will fly away when attacked, so it’s behavior is much like the Pteranodon.


[Image via Studio Wildcard]
A Pelagornis is not an easy tame since it spends most of its time flying over water. ARK: Survival Evolved players will want to avoid knocking one out over water because it will sink and drown immediately. There are a couple of solutions to this, however.

Players can wait for a Pelagornis to fly over land to stun it with a Bola and then knock it out. This isn’t all that common so one thing Survivors can do is shoot the bird with a Tranq Dart or Tranq Arrow while being carried or standing on the back of a Quetz. Shoot the bird while facing land and it will take off in that direction.

Another option is to drive a raft out to the Pelagornis spawn and wait for one to fly over in range of a Bola. With luck and skill, the stunned bird will fall onto the raft where it can be knocked out safely. Just make sure to have all Narcotics and required taming food on hand already as the raft will not be able to move during taming.

Grappling hooks work as well. ARK: Survival Evolved players just need to be sure the Pelagornis is over land or over a raft. Just note that either a Bow with a Tranq Arrow should be used or a Longneck Rifle with a Tranq Dart. The high damage of a Crossbow could kill it.

Compy Kibble is the preferred food for the Pelagornis followed by Raw Prime Fish Meat and Raw Fish Meat. Making Compy Kibble requires the egg, one Citronal, one Cooked Fish Meat, two Mejoberries, three Fiber, and one Waterskin.

The Pelagornis has a relatively slow torpor drain, so don’t expect to have to use much Narcotics for taming compared to other animals.

Refer to the taming calculators at DodoDex, Survive Ark, or Crumplecorn for the exact amount of food and narcotics needed for the level of Pelagornis you are attempting to tame.


The hook with the Pelagornis is the ability to fly and swim on top of water. The bird can attack fish and other sea creatures to harvest fish meat. In fact, it does 10 times normal damage to Coel, Piranha, and Sabertooth Salmon. This makes it an excellent fish harvester.

A Pelagornis can also be used to harvest Organic Polymer from Penguins. A Wooden Club is sadly still a more efficient method, though it will have to be repaired often.

Note that the Pelagornis is slower than a Pteranodon and does not have a secondary attack. Still, it can serve as a decent ferrier of goods when ARK: Survival Evolved players unlock its saddle at level 40. A nice touch is the bird only eats Fish Meat so any Raw Prime Meat is safe when being carried by it.


The Pelagornis is all about moving and carrying its owner. Focus on movement speed and weight along with damage.


[Image via Studio Wildcard]
  • Wild: The much larger ancestor of water birds like the stork or pelican, Pelagornis miocaenus shares many traits with its modern-day brethren. However, it seems to spend much more time hunting for fish over the open deep-sea.
  • Domesticated: Because of its ability to fly, walk, and surface-swim, a tamed Pelagornis is one of the island’s most versatile mounts, but this comes at a cost. The same webbed feet that allow Pelagornis to serenely maneuver along the ocean’s surface prevent it from snatching prey from the ground, which may limit its appeal to some survivors.
  • Known Information: In fact, I have rarely spotted a wild Pelagornis anywhere near the coasts of the main Island, as it prefers to rest its wings by paddling along on the ocean’s surface rather than waddling along the Island’s beaches. Perhaps this behavior is a result of its survival instincts. The early Miocene was a post-dinosaur epoch, after all, and Pelagornis would not be accustomed to such predators. Considering how quickly it flees from humans, one can hardly blame its caution.

ARK General Guides:

ARK Map Guide:

ARK Taming Guides:

[Image via Studio Wildcard]

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