Vulture is a scavenging bird of prey. When this bird is mentioned, most of us can think of Beaky Buzzard, the foolish vulture from the “Looney Toones”. However, our predator is far more smarter and resourceful in the reality.
New World and Old World.
Since there are two groups of vultures, let’s break them down. The New World vultures include the California and the Andean condor, while the Old World birds that are scavenging on carcasses of dead animals on African plains. Yet, some traditional Old World vultures are not related to the others.
How big is a vulture?
This bald-headed bird is quite big. It can grow up to 3,3 feet long, and weigh up to 28 pounds. The wingspan can reach about 9 feet. But, why is this bird’s head so different than others? Well, it’s specially designed to stay clean when our friend eats. Since there is blood everywhere, any fluid just slides of the head, and that’s it!
Although vulture is a scavenger, it has no problem to attack wounded or dying animals. Did you know this food-lover can eat 20% of its own body weigh? That’s a lot of food for one bird, right? Regardless, even if this interesting bird is not so cute and nice, it is extremely important for the cleanness of our planet. Without it, the world would be a very smelly and unhealthy place.
Eating bones, flying high.
Vulture’s stomach acid is impressively corrosive, which means it can eat and digest almost everything with no worries, just like hyenas. There is no bacteria or toxin which would harm our bald friend! Naturally, as it eats all kinds of food that would kill the rest of scavengers, it keeps our environment disease free. As far as flying concerned, the griffon vulture was seen close to the airplane off the Ivory Coast, which was at 37,000 feet at that moment. Impressive!
Did you know that vultures urinate on themselves to disinfect bacteria because of walking through carcasses? But, there’s one more reason for this disgusting habit: it also acts as evaporative cooling!
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