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Re: Vulture warm up



Even if they are using the sun to warm up, that doesn't necessarily imply they're incapable of warming up on their own. I've personally observed ring-tailed lemurs doing much the same thing, sitting on their haunches and spreading their arms (forelegs?) to expose their chests to the rising sun.

Any heat you can absorb from the environment is heat you don't have to burn energy to produce (e.g., by shivering), and that's as true for endotherms as for ectotherms.

--Nick P.


Quoting quailspg@frii.com:

Listers --

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

http://picasaweb.google.com/heidemom/Vultures?authkey=Gv1sRgCNuQpdaq8qHu6wE&feat=directlink

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