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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.

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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).
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


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
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Key words: brodifacoum, secondary anticoagulant rodenticide toxicosis, blood transfusion, second-generation anticoagulant rodenticide, SGAR, vitamin [K.sub.1], raptor, avian, Andean condor, Vultur gryphus
A 28-year-old female Andean condor (Vultur gryphus) housed in an outdoor exhibit at the National Aviary in Pittsburgh, PA, began showing signs of weakness.
Serial packed cell volume (PCV) and total solids (TS) by day in a captive Andean condor with brodifacoum rodenticide toxicosis.
Packed cell volume (PCV) and total solids (TS) values in a captive Andean condor with brodifacoum toxicosis by case day after presentation.
The Andean condor, found throughout the Andes from Colombia to Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, is threatened in its northern range and has become rare in Venezuela and Colombia.
"The Los Angeles Zoo is proud to be part of the Andean condor Species Survival Program," said Susie Kasielke, Los Angeles Zoo curator of birds.
With wingspans of 10 feet or more and weighing up to 25 pounds, Andean condors are the world's heaviest fully-flighted birds.
Andean condors once ranged all along the Andes Mountains and Pacific coast of South America, from Venezuela to Tierra del Fuego.
For the next step, 11 Andean condors hatched at Patuxent and the Bronx and Miami zoos were sent to be released into the wild in 1980 on the Sechura Peninsula, a hot, dry, hilly desert running along Peru's northern coast.
Although four of the released Andean condors died in the first two years, the other seven birds not only survived, but thrived.
"If we can get them to produce two eggs each next year (as has been done with Andean condors at Patuxent and other zoos), we could conceivably get 10 more chicks."
Once again, enter the Andean condor. Even before the last wild California condor was taken into captivity in 1987, Wallace had suggested to the California condor recovery team -- a group of federal, state and zoo wildlife biologists who oversee the program -- that they release captive-hatched Andean condors to the wild in California.