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common name for certain American vulturesvulture,
common name for large birds of prey of temperate and tropical regions. The Old World vultures (family Accipitridae) are allied to hawks and eagles; the more ancient American vultures and condors are of a different family (Cathartidae) with distant links to storks and
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, found in the high peaks of the Andes of South America and the Coast Range of S California. Condors are the largest of the living birds, nearly 50 in. (125 cm) long with a wingspread of from 9 to 10 ft (274–300 cm). Voracious eaters, they prefer carrion but will attack living animals as large as deer. The eggs are laid in a sketchy cliff nest of twigs; the young are unable to fly until they are about a year old.

The Andean condor, Vultur gryphus, has black plumage with white wing patches and a white neck ruff. The lead-colored head and neck are bare; the male has a comb and wattles. The female lays one or two eggs. The California condor, or California vulture, Gymnogyps californianus, is all black with white wing bands. Forming long-term pair bonds, the California condor only lays one egg and does not breed until at least six years old. Condors, particularly the California species (which has only recently been reintroduced into the wild), are extremely rare and on the verge of extinction.

Condors are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Cathartiformes, family Cathartidae.


A continuous-wave navigation system, similar to benito, that automatically measures bearing and distance from a single ground station; the distance is determined by phase comparison and the bearing by automatic direction finding.
(vertebrate zoology)
Vultur gryphus. A large American vulture having a bare head and neck, dull black plumage, and a white neck ruff.


A U.S. Navy air-to-surface missile that uses optoelectronic guidance, developed for use beyond the range of antiaircraft guns which protect heavily defended ground targets; range is about 50 miles (80 kilometers).


either of two very large rare New World vultures, Vultur gryphus (Andean condor), which has black plumage with white around the neck, and Gymnogyps californianus (California condor), which is similar but nearly extinct
References in periodicals archive ?
The project focuses on Andean condors as they demonstrate the most extreme example of birds using rising air to gain a free ride.
In the fall of 2005, the SSP released three Andean condors in Colombia to continue their trend of success.
ANDEAN condors Sonya and Gus were last night settling into their new pounds 100,000 Welsh Mountain Zoo home.
Unlike the closely related Andean condors with their white neck fluff or king vultures with brilliant black-and-white coloring, California condors are not much to see.
Four Andean condors recently returned to South America as part of a successful international collaborative program that reintroduces the endangered Andean condor to its native home range in Colombia.
The initial inoculation included 32 California condors and 4 Andean condors.
Late this summer, scientists plan to release radio-tagged Andean condors, a related and less critically endangered species, in California to scout out the possible environmental hazards their California cousins may encounter.
In this study, we dosed four Andean condors (Vultur gryphus) with lead shot and found them to be quite sensitive, as two of the birds died and the other two exhibit signs of lead poisoning within 50 days.
To the Welsh Mountain Zoo to marvel at the Sumatran tigers, sealions, marmosets and Andean condors.
Here visitors may find Magellan's geese, long-tailed meadowlarks, Andean condors, Chilean flamingos, swans--such as the black-necked and the Coscoroba--and numerous species of ducks.
The birds include saddlebill storks, abdim storks, wattled and other assorted cranes, Andean condors, flamingos, swans, geese, scarlet ibis and spoonbills.