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vulture,common name for large birds of prey of temperate and tropical regions. The Old World vultures (family Accipitridae) are allied to hawkshawk,
name generally applied to the smaller members of the Accipitridae, a heterogeneous family of diurnal birds of prey, such as the eagle, the kite, and the Old World vulture.
..... Click the link for more information. and eagleseagle,
common name for large predatory birds of the family Accipitridae (hawk family), found in all parts of the world. Eagles are similar to the buteos, or buzzard hawks, but are larger both in length and in wingspread (up to 7 1-2 ft/228 cm) and have beaks nearly as long as
..... Click the link for more information. ; the more ancient American vultures and condorscondor,
common name for certain American vultures, 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).
..... Click the link for more information. are of a different family (Cathartidae) with distant links to storksstork,
common name for members of a family of long-legged wading birds. The storks are related to the herons and ibises and are found in most of the warmer parts of the world.
..... Click the link for more information. and cormorantscormorant
, common name for large aquatic birds, related to the gannet and the pelican, and found chiefly in temperate and tropical regions, usually on the sea but also on inland waters.
..... Click the link for more information. .
American vultures have no syrinx and are thus voiceless, emitting weak hisses. They feed voraciously and indiscriminately, chiefly on carrion. Because they have weak beaks and lack the strength of other birds of prey, they rarely attack other than helpless animals. Most vultures have dark plumage and small, naked heads. In the adult turkey vulture, or turkey buzzard, Cathartes aura (wingspread 6 ft/1.9 m), the head is red; in the smaller black vulture it is black; and in the tropical king vulture (with cream and black plumage) it is orange, crimson, and purple, with a neck ruff of gray down.
Vultures have keen sight and are effortless soarers, skillful at riding the thermal updrafts of their mountain habitats. They are normally solitary but will gather in crowds to feed. As valuable scavengers they are protected by law. A vulture of the Pleistocene epoch was the largest bird that ever existed, with a wingspread of 16 to 17 ft (4.9–5.1 m).
Vultures are frequently called buzzardsbuzzard,
common name for hawks of the genus Buteo and for the honey buzzards of the genus Pernis, of the Old World family Accipitridae. The name buzzard is also incorrectly applied to various hawks and New World vultures, such as the turkey vulture (
..... Click the link for more information. , although the name is more correctly applied to hawks of the genus Buteo. Vultures 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.
..... Click the link for more information. , subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Cathartiformes, family Cathartidae, and order Accipitriformes, family Accipitridae.
See study by T. van Dooren (2011).
What does it mean when you dream about a vulture?
A vulture is a bird that feeds on carrion (dead animals). Popular culture has further invested them with the associated trait of waiting for something to die. So a dream about a vulture often reflects a situation in our waking life in which we feel that someone else is waiting for us to die, or death in a less literal way, such as waiting for us to fail. A vulture dream can, of course, represent the opposite situation in which we are waiting for someone or something else to die or to fail.