A large, flightless bird that seems to be a dinosaur-ostrich hybrid, the urwin is one of the exotic animals found in the Negilahn region of the "Pod Age". Its presence is made clear to explorers by both its thunderous footsteps and distinctive calls. Although Negilahn was—and may still be—experiencing a large population loss amongst the native fauna, patient visitors can expect a few Urwin appearances at the pod every day.
Despite its large size, the Urwin's primary food source appears to be the kiri, small airborne insects that swarm throughout the Negilahn swamp. The urwin consume the kiri by means of their massive baleen plates: just as a whale filters plankton from the water, so too do the urwins filter kiri through the air. While it is unknown exactly how many kiri an urwin consumes in any given time period, it is likely that a large number of the fireflies meet their end as a snack for this mighty animal.
While its size may protect the urwin from most predators native to Negilahn, the creatures appeared helpless against the terrifying might of the bahro. On an expedition to Negilahn, Douglas Sharper encountered the remains of mutilated urwins, and even tracked one that was mortally injured. The motivation behind these attacks is not understood, although the urwin may have been targeted by the vicious bahro faction to lure D'ni or humans out of safety.
It is generally believed that two subspecies of urwin exist, with the other inhabiting the deserts of Payiferen. Like its Negilahn brethren, the Payiferen urwin filters smaller organisms out of the sand via baleen plates.