condor

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Related to Californian 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
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