I don't like vultures. They are ugly!
- There are 23 species of "vultures": 16 Old World vultures found in Africa, Asia, and Europe, and seven New World vultures in America.
- Old World and New World vultures are actually not closely related. However, because both groups perform highly specialized functions, they have developed similar biological traits.
- Old World vultures do not have a good sense of smell – they rely exclusively on incredible eyesight to locate food – a soaring vulture can spot a 3-foot animal carcass from 4 miles away!
- Several species of New World vultures have a good sense of smell, unusual for raptors.
- Vultures can eat up to 20 percent of their own body weight in one sitting.
- Vultures are equipped with a digestive system that contains special acids that will dissolve anthrax, botulism, and cholera bacteria.
- Vultures do not go after healthy prey, but will attack wounded and dying animals.
- New World vultures have the unusual habit of urohydrosis, or defecating on their legs to cool them evaporatively.
- The bald, or lightly-feathered, head is specially designed to stay clean even when confronted with blood and bodily fluids present in the carcasses. Any remaining germs are baked off by the sun.