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Sunday, 9 June 2013

Vulture



    Vulture is the name given to two groups of convergently evolved scavenging birds: the New World Vultures, including the well-known Californian and Andean Condors; and the Old World Vultures, including the birds that are seen scavenging on carcasses of dead animals on African plains. New World Vultures are found in North and South America; Old World Vultures are found in Europe, Africa and Asia, meaning that between the two groups, vultures are found on every continent except Australia and Antarctica.
    A particular characteristic of many vultures is a bald head, devoid of normal feathers. This helps to keep the head clean when feeding. Research has shown that the bare skin may play an important role in thermoregulation.
    A group of vultures is called a wake, committee, venue, kettle, or volt. The term kettle refers to vultures in flight, while committee, volt, and venue refer to vultures resting in trees. Wake is reserved for a group of vultures that are feeding. The word Geier (taken from the German language) does not have a precise meaning in ornithology; it is occasionally used to refer to a vulture in English, as in some poetry.


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Vulture


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