Vulture – fashionable and practical

vulture_webTurkey Vultures remind me of 16th century European royalty (you know those “ruffs” they wore around their necks?). That regal appearance results from a bald head, which keeps the birds a little cleaner as they dig around in decomposing roadkill.

Evolving with bacteria goes beyond losing some feathers though. After all, if you ate rotten meat, you’d get sick. Vultures have extremely acidic digestive tracks and beneficial relationships with bacterial species that are dangerous to the rest of us.

Oh, and don’t bother Vultures while they’re feeding. They’re known to vomit as a defense mechanism.

p.s. Robert Krulwich of NPR wrote a super-amazing post about Vultures and their sense of smell (keep reading for the part on the oil pipelines – awesome!). As a painter, some of the early experiments sound like great fun!!!

4 thoughts on “Vulture – fashionable and practical

  1. And the linked story was enlightening. Like most people, I assumed vultures smelled their lunch and the painting idea was a hoot.

  2. Excellent vulture painting, love it! We are very well acquainted with vultures, because they nest in our back yard. Nothing but appreciation for them, except when one vomited inside our chicken house.

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