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The predictable reactions when people hear the name “Vulture” is a mixture of horror, disgust and all things that are dead, ugly and rotten. And though they are one of the world’s prominent scavengers, we should be grateful they do scavenge because these birds are actually very and extremely important to our ecosystem.

So think you know all about Vultures, here’s 10 cool facts about them!

1. There are 23 species of Vultures in the World

2. A group of resting vultures is called a Committee or Venue; When in flight, a flock of vultures is called a Kettle; When the birds are feeding together at a carcass, the group of vultures is called a Wake.

3. As we mentioned earlier, Vultures are actually VERY important in our ecological system. Because they feed almost exclusively on dead animals (which may be rotten, toxic and diseased), they help to prevent the spread of diseases and toxins from such animals to other living things, plants, animals and humans. They also play a huge role as waste biological wastes controllers.

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4. Their senses of food and smell are excellent

5. Vultures have weak feet and legs

6. Due to their weak feet and legs, they do not carry prey back to their chicks. Instead, they will gorge at a carcass, get back to their chicks and regurgitate the food eaten from their crop to feed their young chicks.

7. When Vultures need to cool off on hot days, they can do so by urinate on their legs and feet. This process is called Urohydrosis. Also, their urine is toxic and kills bacteria or parasites that they might have picked up from walking through carcasses or perching on dead animals.

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8. When threatened, vultures would vomit to lighten their body weight so they can escape more easily into flight. Vomiting also serves as a defense mechanism to deter predators that may be threatening the birds.

9. Also, when they feel threatened, Vultures may give off warning signs by Hissing.

10. Lastly, a vulture’s stomach acid is significantly stronger and more corrosive than that of other animals or birds. Therefore, these scavengers can comfortably feed on rotting carcasses that may be infected with dangerous bacteria. The acid in their stomach is so strong, it will kill the dangerous bacteria in most diseased or toxic food they eat and the food won’t affect them like it would affect other birds, animals or humans.

……. You are welcome!

 

Sources; Bird Trivia and National Geographic

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