A Conversation for Colours of Wildlife: Cape Vulture
Minorvogonpoet Started conversation Dec 22, 2019
paulh, hiding under my bed Posted Dec 22, 2019
I'm afraid that this image does not stir up any Christmas thoughts in my head. I'm also not thrilled by its way of entering the body of a dead animal, though of course the animal is beyond knowing what is happening to it. I even wonder whether that dead animal would even still be intact if had been killed by a lion or other predator. Don't carnivores generally eat most of the carcasses of the animals they ill? What would be left for a vulture to eat? Just sayin'. I'm afraid to think of what would kill an animal but would be repulsive enough to preclude the interest of predators? Old age?Some virulent disease?
But I guess that this vulture can be respected for eating what no one else would touch. There's a sort of nobility in that.
Minorvogonpoet Posted Dec 23, 2019
You can certainly see the dinosaur lineage in this bird.
paulh, hiding under my bed Posted Dec 23, 2019
Willem Posted Dec 23, 2019
Hello Minorvogonpoet and Paulh! Yes indeed, if carnivores have killed an animal they'll have eaten much or most of it, and there wouldn't be any problems with the vulture getting into the carcass. There usually will be a few scraps left even in the most completely-consumed prey animal. If animals die of disease or old age in the bush without any carnivores having found them, the vultures can find them intact, and then they have to use the rear entry route …
Those eye-like things on the chest are indeed sensory organs! The bare skin is extremely heat-sensitive and they use them to locate thermals.
SashaQ - happysad Posted Dec 23, 2019
Excellent portrait, as always, and thank you for telling us about this vulture - just shows how ecosystems are connected, that they rely on large predators to crunch bones for them...
paulh, hiding under my bed Posted Dec 25, 2019
Animals large and small take part in deconstructing animals and plants after death occurs. Environmentalists around here urge that fallen trees be left where they are, so beetles and worms and funguses, etc. can feast on the rotting wood. There are even a few brave souls who have chosen composting rather than burial or cremation for their own remains. After all, when humans were mostly living in forests, their earthly remains could disintegrate back into the forest floor and replenish the ecosystem.
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