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Re: Vulture warm up

No, I don't think we can make that assumption -- according to the photos, they are also doing it on cloudy days without much radiant heat input available to them. Perhaps they are doing it to cool off ? After all, folded wings do make pretty good insulators and can trap a lot of body heat.
----- Original Message ----- From: <quailspg@frii.com>
To: <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Sent: Wednesday, May 06, 2009 3:24 PM
Subject: Vulture warm up

Listers --

Here are some very nifty pix taken very recently by a friend of a friend
in Fort Collins, Colorado.


They were taken in the morning, so can we assume the birds had their wings
spread to warm up? If this is so, what does it say about a vulture's
ability to regulate its body temp? (I don't think many other types of
birds engage in this behavior.) Does this behavior (the urge -- or need --
to warm up in the sun) say anything about your typical Mesozoic theropod?
Or are vultures a special case due to their scavenging habits (especially
low metabolism, maybe???)?

-- Donna Braginetz