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Vulture


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Black Vulture
Egyptian Vulture
Hooded vulture photographed near Nioro, Senegal.
King Vulture
Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)
The vulture is a large, carnivorous bird that is most well known for its scavenging nature. The vulture is one of the few types of bird that is found distributed so widely around the world, as vultures are found on every continent excluding the Antarctic and Australia and the islands that surround it.

Different species of vultures of firstly classified into two groups, the old world vultures and the new world vultures. There are thought to be nearly 30 different species of vulture that are found worldwide.

The old world vultures are found in Asia, Europe and Africa with these species of vulture thought to be most closely related to eagles and hawks. The old world vulture is not thought to be closely related to the new world vulture and the old world vulture uses its spectacular sight alone in order to find food.

The new world vultures are found in the Americas and although there are definitive similarities between the old world vulture and the new world vulture, they are believed to be connected through evolutionary status rather than DNA. The new world vultures tend to be slightly smaller than the old world vultures and use both sight and their excellent sense of smell in order to find their food.

All species of vulture are similar in the sense that they scavenge for their food whenever possible rather than killing it themselves. Vultures feed on the remains of dead animals and are never too fussy about what is left. Vultures are known to strip meat, skin and even feathers, leaving only the skeleton of the animal remaining.

Although vultures are generally fairly solitary animals, groups of vultures are often seen circling prey from the sky above. This movement of the vultures is called a kettle and a group of vultures together is sometimes known as a venue.

Vultures have keen eyesight. It is believed they are able to spot a three-foot carcass from four miles away on the open plains. In some species, when an individual sees a carcass it begins to circle above it. This draws the attention of other vultures that then join in. The feces of the turkey vulture contains strong acids that kill many of the bacteria commonly associated with bird feces. Because of their diet, these birds are able to kill harmful bacteria and viruses with their stomach acids, and halt the potential spread of disease from rotting carcasses.


Vulture Comments (10)

jim

"Adding captions to the pictures would help us learn to identify these amazing birds. Thanks for this well-presented information. "

50cent

"the vulture is said to be the bird that flys very high in the sky more than any other bird. "

Nepal

"Save the vultures!!! Great information"

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Vulture Facts

Kingdom:
Five groups that classify all living things...
Animalia
Phylum:
A group of animals within the animal kingdom...
Chordata
Class:
A group of animals within a pylum...
Aves
Order:
A group of animals within a class...
Accipitriformes
Family:
A group of animals within an order...
Accipitridae
Genus:
A group of animals within a family...
Aegypiinae
Scientific Name:
Comprised of the genus followed by the species...
Aegypius Monachus
Type:
The animal group that the species belongs to...
Bird
Diet:
What kind of foods the animal eats...
Carnivore
Size (H):
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is...
64cm - 81cm (25in - 32in)
Wing Span:
The measurement from one wing tip to the other...
130cm - 183cm (51in - 72in)
Weight:
The measurement of how heavy the animal is...
0.85kg - 2.2kg (1.9lbs - 5lbs)
Top Speed:
The fastest recorded speed of the animal...
48km/h (30mph)
Life Span:
How long the animal lives for...
20 - 30 years
Lifestyle:
Whether the animal is solitary or sociable...
Solitary
Conservation Status:
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct...
Endangered
Colour:
The colour of the animal's coat or markings...
Black, White, Grey, Tan, Brown
Skin Type:
The protective layer of the animal...
Feathers
Favourite Food:Rats
Habitat:
The specific area where the animal lives...
Deserts, savannah and grassland near water
Average Clutch Size:
The average number of eggs laif at once...
2
Main Prey:
The food that the animal gains energy from...
Rats, Small and large animal carcasses
Predators:
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal...
Hawks, Snakes, Wild cats
Distinctive Features:
Characteristics unique to the animal...
Large wings and sharp, curved beak

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