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Re: "Feathery fossil shows birds aren't dinosaurs"
Patrick Norton wrote:
> >Vultures aren't exactly the most aerodynamic of birds to begin with.<
Just to clarify, I mean that vultures don't have to be involved in high
speed chases to catch prey, nor cross hundreds of kilometres of open
polar seas, or hover in mid air while delicately sipping at nectar. If
the feathers of a falconer's bird become damaged, they are carefully
repaired to keep it in top condition. However should a vulture happen to
damage or lose a couple of flight feathers now and then, they can
probably still ride the thermals well enough not to be seriously
disabled. Can you imagine what would happen to a hummingbird if it lost
or seriously damaged a few feathers? They can starve within hours.
I see vultures as the pick-up trucks (in Oz: utes) of the avian world.
Reliable but not exactly a sports model. Falcons, on the other hand, are
the high performance sports cars, where the race can be won or lost by a
fraction of a second and every advantage counts. I suppose that would
make hummingbirds the mopeds of the bird world? :)