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Vultures are a type of bird mentioned briefly in the How to Train Your Dragon Book series.

Description

Vultures are a group of Birds of Prey that primarily consume carrion, and are important parts of ecosystems because of it. Vulture species are only loosely related to each other and are grouped into three taxa: Family Cathartidae also known as 'New World Vultures', Sub-Family Gypaetinae (Family Accipitridae) also known as 'Bearded Vultures', and Sub-Family Aegypiinae (Family Accipitridae) also called 'Old World Vultures'. The Bearded vultures are also considered being Old World vultures, but are taxonomically distinct.

Many vulture species in all the taxa have featherless or lightly feathered faces and/or necks. This is thought to be used for thermoregulation of body temperature and also to reduce the spread of disease, because feathers would get matted with rotting carrion. Many vulture species also urinate on their legs to reduce germ load when walking on carcasses and also as another method of cooling. Vulture urine is highly caustic. Their stomach acid is also extremely caustic and can kill germs such as Anthrax and botulism toxin, which would sicken or kill other animals.

Function

In the Book series, vultures are mentioned as a descriptor for other creatures.

In reality, vultures do not have a direct usage for humans, but are extremely important 'cleaners' in the environment. Vultures also figure into many cultures' myth and folklore.

Appearances

How to Speak Dragonese

Sharkworms are compared to vultures behaviorally.

... and when the sun came up on the morning before Saturn's day Saturday there was a boiling mass of black fins with jagged edges, circling like vultures around the island of Fort Sinister.
  — Book 3  


References

Wikipedia-logo-v2.svg Vulture on Wikipedia

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