New Gene Fights Potato Blight
Getting the dirt on carbon
Fast-flying fungal spores
Tree Frogs
Roboroach and Company
Bee Disease
Walks on the Wild Side
Taking a Spill for Science
Longer lives for wild elephants
Storing Memories before Bedtime
Chemistry and Materials
Cooking Up Superhard Diamonds
The hottest soup in New York
The Incredible Shrunken Kids
Batteries built by Viruses
Troubles with Hubble
Galaxies far, far, far away
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Dinosaur Dig
The man who rocked biology to its core
From Mammoth to Modern Elephant
E Learning Jamaica
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
What is groundwater
A Dire Shortage of Water
Vitamin D-licious Mushrooms
Fungus Hunt
Improving the Camel
Island Extinctions
Finding the Past
Little People Cause Big Surprise
Childhood's Long History
Decoding a Beverage Jar
A Grim Future for Some Killer Whales
Food and Nutrition
Recipe for Health
Symbols from the Stone Age
Healing Honey
GSAT English Rules
Finding Subjects and Verbs
Who vs. Whom
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
Scotiabank Jamaica Foundation Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) Scholarships
Mastering The GSAT Exam
GSAT Exam Preparation
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
GSAT Practice Papers | GSAT Mathematics | Maths
GSAT Mathematics
Secrets of an Ancient Computer
Play for Science
Prime Time for Cicadas
Human Body
Remembering Facts and Feelings
Hey batter, wake up!
Hear, Hear
African Wild Dog
What Not to Say to Emerging Readers
Raise a Lifelong Reader by Reading Aloud
Choosing a Preschool: What to Consider
Spin, Splat, and Scramble
Strange Universe: The Stuff of Darkness
Speedy stars
Making the most of a meal
Bright Blooms That Glow
Sweet, Sticky Science
Garter Snakes
Space and Astronomy
Chaos Among the Planets
Pluto, plutoid: What's in a name?
No Fat Stars
Technology and Engineering
Smart Windows
Searching for Alien Life
A Clean Getaway
The Parts of Speech
Adjectives and Adverbs
Problems with Prepositions
What is a Verb?
Reach for the Sky
Morphing a Wing to Save Fuel
Ready, unplug, drive
In Antarctica watch the heat (and your step)
The Best Defense Is a Good Snow Fence
Antarctica warms, which threatens penguins
Add your Article


Vultures are scavenging birds, feeding mostly on the carcasses of dead animals. Vultures are found in every continent except Antarctica and Oceania. Bald head: A particular characteristic of many vultures is a bald head, devoid of feathers. A feathered head would become splattered with blood and other fluids during feeding, and thus be difficult to keep clean. A bald head allows for quick cleaning in a nearby river. Prey: Vultures seldom attack a healthy living animal, but may kill the wounded or sick. Vast numbers have been seen upon battlefields. Table Manners: They gorge themselves when prey is abundant, and then sit, sleepy or half torpid, to digest their food. They do not carry food to their young in their claws, but disgorge it from the crop. These birds are of great value as scavengers, especially in hot regions. Endangered: The vulture population in India has declined by up to 95% recently and two or three of the species of vulture in South Asia are nearing extinction. The cause was the practice of giving working animals the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac, which has a pain killing action. Diclofenac administration keeps animals that are ill or in pain working on the land for longer. Diclofenac accumulates in the animals' bodies; when the ill animals die, their carcasses will still contain the diclofenac. Farmers leave the dead animals out in the open, relying on vultures to tidy up. Diclofenac present in carcasses it also eaten by the vultures, but unfortunately vultures are very sensitive to diclofenac and suffer kidney failure and death as a result of diclofenac poisoning. Hygiene problems: The decline has led to general hygiene problems in India as carcasses of dead animals now tend to rot, or be eaten by rats or wild dogs, rather than be tidied up by vultures. In addition, there are particular problems for certain human communities, such as Parsis, that have sky burials where the human dead are put on the top of Towers of Silence where vultures eat and clean the bodies and leave only dry bones. Safe drug: Meloxicam another NSAID similar to diclofenac has been found to be harmless to vultures and should prove to be an acceptable alternative. The Government of India has banned diclofenac, but it continues to be sold over a year later. Brave Old and New Worlds: Vultures fall into two groups. The Old World vultures found in Africa, Asia and Europe belong to the family Accipitridae, which also includes eagles, kites, buzzards and hawks. They find carcasses exclusively by sight. New World vultures and condors are not at all closely related to the superficially similar Accipitridae, but belong in the family Cathartidae, which is quite close to the storks. Several species have a good sense of smell, unusual for raptors. The similarities between the two groups are due to convergent evolution rather than a close relationship. Vultures and cultures: In Southern Africa, the name for a Nubian Vulture is synonymous with the term applied to lovers, because these vultures are always seen in pairs, mother and child remaining closely bonded together. Pairing, bonding, protecting, and loving are essential attributes associated with a vulture. The vulture was thought to be close to the gods who resided in the sky because of its immense size and its ability to soar high up in the sky. The Egyptians considered the vulture to be an excellent mother, and its wide wing-span was seen as all-encompassing and providing a protective cover to its infants. In contrast to many other birds of prey, vultures have often been considered repulsive in Western culture, due to their association with death. Sensationalistic journalists looking for news about bloody crimes are sometimes called "vultures". Financial investors who look for indebted companies or countries to buy securities at low prices are known as vulture funds.


Designed and Powered by™