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VB: Vulture warm up



I strongly doubt that it is thermoregulatory. I've seen Black Vultures
doing it in mid-afternoon on the sunny side of a white limestone Maya
temple in Tikal, Guatemala, and let me tell you it was *not* cold there.
This behaviour is actually quite widespread in birds, but the reason is
uncertain. There is some experimental evidence that periodic heating of
the plumage is important for feather maintenance, but the details are
obscure.

Tommy Tyrberg

-----Ursprungligt meddelande-----
Från: owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu [mailto:owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu] För
quailspg@frii.com
Skickat: den 6 maj 2009 23:25
Till: dinosaur@usc.edu
Ämne: Vulture warm up

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=Gv1sRgCNuQpdaq8qHu
6wE&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