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The largest raptor in existence, with a wingspan of more than 3 meters, can fly 172 kilometers away for 5 hours without flapping its wings

Time:2023-03-27 14:28:51 author:Fish Read:881次
The largest raptor in existence, with a wingspan of more than 3 meters, can fly 172 kilometers away for 5 hours without flapping its wings

In Andean mythology, there is a bird that is considered to be the ruler of the upper world, related to the sun god, representing power and health, and has their patterns on handicrafts made 2500 years ago, and today's Argentina, Bolivia, Chile They can also be seen on the national emblems of countries such as Peru. If the Chinese people's belief totem is "dragon", then the belief totem of these countries is the Andean condor.

World's largest bird of prey

Why is the Andean condor worshipped? In fact, just look at its size. The Andean Condor has a wingspan of 2.7 to 3.1 meters, and a body length of 1.1 to 1.3 meters. It is as high as a student's desk. When it spreads its wings and glides down from the sky, it looks like a A wall pressed down. The largest Andean condor in the records has a wingspan of 5 meters, and the wingspan of a normal adult is approximately equal to the height. Male birds can weigh up to 15 kilograms, which is certainly not a big deal among mammals, but it is definitely heavyweight among birds that need to fly for a long time. Such raptors, such as the golden eagle, weigh up to 6.4 kilograms, less than half that of the Andean condor. With such a heavy body, the Andean Condor can continue to fly for several hours, and its flight ability has to be said to be very powerful. The Andean condor's feathers are black, but there are white markings on the wings and a circle of white feathers on the neck. With its huge body, it looks very handsome from a distance. Moreover, the Andean condor can hover in the sky for a long time, and some scientists have studied the flight ability of the Andean condor. Scientists used a series of equipment such as GPS and flight recorders, strapped them to the Andean condor, and recorded the flight status of the Andean condor, even how high they flew, how long they flew, and how many times they flapped their wings. can be recorded. But after the Andean Condor was released, they quickly discovered the problem. The flight recorder recorded 320 data points per second and could not be transmitted back to the ground. The scientists had to change their thinking and redesigned the flight recorder with a nickel-chromium Heating system composed of alloy wire and fishing line. This device is like a fuse. When the Andean condor stops to rest, scientists will let the flight recorder fall off. However, because the Andean condor likes to park on cliffs and other heights, these recorders can only be recorded every seven 1 found. Because of the difficult process, the study took more than five years to complete. Through research data scientists found that the Andean condor flies an average of 3 hours a day, but only 1% of the time is flapping, which is less than 2 minutes, and most of the time is flapping. take off. After flying into the sky, the Andean condor will fly with the help of the updraft. At this time, they only need to spread the huge pair of wings to keep the level stable, and the airflow will naturally lift it to fly. An Andean condor has been recorded to fly for more than 5 hours and travel 172 kilometers without flapping its wings once during the entire process. The study of Andean condors also found that the sternum in their chests cannot support large muscles, so it mainly relies on gliding to fly. Just like a human plane, it can fly very far without flapping its wings. However, the Andean condor is a creature after all. More than ten kilograms may be the limit of today's flying animals. No matter how heavy it is, it can only fly a short distance on the ground or simply become a ground-dwelling bird like an ostrich. Therefore, the Andean condor is the largest in the world. of birds. However, it seems that the Andean condor does not seem to be famous compared to large raptors such as golden eagles and horned eagles, which means that it does not look like a "condor" at all.

The faceless "Condor"

Andean condor looks beautiful as it flies in the sky, but it's really "from a distance" , once you take a closer look, you will find that their appearance is not as handsome as an eagle, but closer to a vulture. It has no feathers on its head and neck, it is bare and dark red, and the male has a fleshy crest on its head. Its claws and beaks are not as sharp as those of eagles. Its claws are relatively straight and a little blunt, which is not suitable for hunting, but is suitable for walking on the ground, and its beak is also curved like a hook, which is more suitable for tearing carrion. This appearance also suggests its feeding habits, it is actually a scavenger. Carrion-eating birds will put their heads into animal carcasses to eat, and various bacteria and blood stains are easily stained on the feathers. It is not easy to clean, and it may cause bacterial infection. If it becomes a "bald head", it can also receive sunlight, which has the effect of disinfection and sterilization, and the exposed skin also helps to dissipate heat. Over time, many scavengers have become bald, and the Andean condor is no exception. Even in terms of biological classification, the Andean condor does not belong to the eagle family, but belongs to the vulture family. In other words, the Andean condor is actually a type of American vulture, and they also have another name, the Condor vulture. Only in rare cases will it hunt some rodents, birds, and rabbits to eat, but the whole process is a torment to its prey - it can't kill the prey in one hit, only Keep pecking at them with their beaks until they die. As a scavenger, the Andean condor, even if it can fly 200 kilometers a day to find food, is still hungry and full. After all, animal carcasses are not so easy to find. It can go without food for a few days, but after finding the animal carcass, the Andean condor will eat it all at once, and sometimes it will even be too strong to fly, so it can only sway on the ground. However, their digestion ability is very strong. It should be said that all scavenger vultures have strong digestion ability. The stomach acid in their stomachs can reach the level of strong acid, they can digest food quickly, and they can also prevent them from contracting various diseases. After all, There are too many bacteria growing on the carrion, and without a good stomach, I am afraid that it will not take long to die of illness. The Andean condor, like other American vultures, has a habit of defecation on the feet, so a layer of white uric acid is formed on the feet. This habit may be used to cool itself, but scientists have not given it. an accurate answer. It's just that these behaviors also make the Andean Condor not look like a "Condor", which is really unworthy.

Concluding remarks

In nature, the Andean condor can also be said to have no natural enemies except for humans-because of its huge size, it has been regarded as attacking livestock before birds of prey, hunted by people. Nowadays, due to human activities, many animals have toxic substances deposited in their bodies. Although the carrion-eating vultures have strong acid-like stomach acid, they cannot resist the invasion of chemical elements. In the Americas, people still have the habit of hunting. When some animals are hit by bullets, the lead in the bullets will flow all over the body with the blood. After they died, these lead elements were transferred to the body of the vultures who ate the carcass, causing the vultures to die of lead poisoning. In recent years, all vulture populations have begun to decline dramatically. Some are even endangered, and the Andean condor has also become a vulnerable species. Although the vulture is a scavenger, it is also an important member of the ecosystem. It can clean up animal carcasses and prevent disease outbreaks. Their numbers are reduced, both for humans and the natural world. is a red flag.

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