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RE: Vulture warm up

Here on the East Coast (Southern Maryland), the neighborhood (yes, there is
a whole "venue" of them) vultures sit on top of homes and spread there wings
in the morning sun in order to help dry the dew off that has collected on
them overnight.
I don't think it's to regulate their body temperature.


-----Original Message-----
From: owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu [mailto:owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu] On Behalf Of
Sent: Wednesday, May 06, 2009 6:15 PM
To: quailspg@frii.com
Cc: dinosaur@usc.edu
Subject: 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 
----- 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