condor

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Related to California condors: Gymnogyps californianus

condor,

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.

condor

[′kän‚dȯr]
(navigation)
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.

Condor

[′kän‚dȯr]
(ordnance)
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).

condor

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 ?
California condors weigh more than 25 pounds and have wingspans up to 10 feet.
Ammunition is the principal source of lead accumulated by California condors re-introduced to the wild.
Six free-ranging California condors (Gymnogyps californianus) of mixed sex and age from the Peregrine Fund condor release site at Vermillion Cliffs, AZ, USA were diagnosed with acute lead poisoning with symptomatic crop distension or stasis.
Federal and state wildlife agencies, as well as the Mexican government, make it possible for California condors to soar again.
Shotgun pellets in condor: A California condor brought to the Los Angeles Zoo for treatment of lead poisoning was found to have shotgun pellets embedded in its body.
But things just got a little better for the' California condor, thanks to legislation passed in November.
Today, the California condor is barely holding its own in the face of extinction, aided by a highly controversial program undertaken by the same upstart species that has been responsible for its near demise.
An afterword from the author tells readers about endangered species--there are only 200 California condors left in the world--and encourages young people to look up more information about species conservation.
To date, the recovery program has overseen the release of approximately 111 birds in Arizona, California, and northern Baja California, making up nearly half of the total population of 219 California condors in captivity and the wild.
Number 59 was one of three captive-hatched California condors released to the wild a few days earlier in the Sierra de San Pedro Martir.
Zoo, which has started vaccinating its California condors agaist West Nile Virus, is hoping that these endangered species will be immune to this potentially deadly disease should it hit the West Coast this spring.
Captive-breeding dilemmas often pitted the welfare of individual animals against the needs of their species: The last wild California condors were removed from their habitat to start a captive-reared population; black-footed ferrets were coaxed to ejaculate by having electric probes inserted in their anuses; experimental breeding in some species led to uncomfortable ailments in offspring.

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