May 26, 2009

Bullies

When big daddy lappet-faced vulture (nine-foot wingspan) shows up at the party, the white-backed vultures step aside, especially when fresh impala carcass is on the menu.

But the vultures who cede the carcass to their larger cousin don't begrudge him. It's actually a good thing, because the lappet-faced vulture has a stronger beak that allows him to tear through tough hides and thick muscles that lesser vultures aren't always able to manage, thereby granting them access to the more delectable innards. Even bullies have their role to play in the ecosystem.

Photo source: Jumbo22

6 comments:

niner said...

Woohoo! Gorgeous creature! I just can't comprehend a 9 foot wingspan; would love to see one up close.

Ellen said...

I never want to see that up close. I can't even imagine. What doesn't kill us makes us stronger, so the bully does have a place in the world.

Anonymous said...

Today I was babysitting my 4-yr old niece at my parent's farm. We were out exploring the old barn and I was telling her that last year a pair of foxes had raised their cubs under the floorboards. Of course, she wanted to see if they were still there. Imagine her surprise when instead of cuddly fox cubs, she was greeted with hissing, vomiting ugly black vulture babies. And their giant three foot wing-span mom and dad. All hanging out in the old fox den. You have never seen two people crawl out from under a barn so darned fast.

Still, she thought it was cool. And I only got one tick. So, I guess it was a win for the uglies.

Raging Wombat said...

I don't envy you the ticks, though I do the vultures.

Anonymous said...

What, you don't want ugly ticks gorging on your blood? You probably wouldn't have like the chiggers either then.

Anonymous said...

Oops, I meant "liked".