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Andean Condor: It only eats the corpses of large animals, but disappears without a trace as the king of birds?

Time:2022-10-04 10:41:23 author:Rare species Read:744次
Andean Condor: It only eats the corpses of large animals, but disappears without a trace as the king of birds?

If you're hovering in the thin air of the Andes Mountains in North America with a giant black shadow, don't think it's a mythical dragon, it's actually an Andean condor. The huge black shadow is very obvious in the clear sky, forming a unique "landscape" in the area. This huge bird has a wingspan of up to 3 meters long and weighs up to 15 kilograms. The Andean condor is the largest bird of prey in the world, as well as the largest flying bird. The giant bird of prey attracts extreme adoration among locals, and no doubt some North American countries have chosen this stately bird as a national emblem. The bare head is in the Americas, and it is lucky to see the Andean condors, and they are not many in number. The Andean condor's feathers are bright black, with a white collar on the exposed part and a bare head. The face changes to different shades of red according to the mood. Compared with other raptors, the Andean condor is similar to the famous vulture, with almost no feathers on the head. The reason for this evolution is actually related to the eating habits of this species of birds. For this bird, having feathers on the head can be disastrous, and they are exposed to a greater extent because of hygiene, preventing the growth of head bacteria. Andean condors mainly feed on the carcasses of large animals. They bury their heads in carcasses as they feed, so try to keep dirt off their heads as much as possible. Bare skin is easier to wash and dries in less time than feathers when exposed to water. Their living range is more than 5,000 meters high, and the strong ultraviolet rays can also kill bacteria, and the bare head skin is directly exposed to ultraviolet rays, which can prevent some saprophytic bacteria from harming the birds. Plateau scavenger Andean condors are most represented in the grassy and rocky areas of the Andes, where their broad wings allow them to fly higher than other birds, making them perfectly adapted to the local environment. Combined with the fact that carcasses are more likely to be found in these open, treeless areas, this area is a paradise for Andean condors. Like most scavenger birds, Andean condors can fly more than 200 kilometers in a few days, using their keen eyes to find food to eat. Sometimes they also follow small vultures, which can find carcasses by scent. These small vultures are also not averse to taking these larger companions to the places where the carcasses are. Because their beaks aren't strong enough to tear open the carcass, it's more practical for Andean condors to do the prep work. Andean condors have a very large appetite. Generally, they will eat until they are too full to fly. After one meal, they can persist without eating for several days. This kind of inter-animal cooperation is extremely common in ecosystems everywhere, with several different scavengers forming a loose alliance to cooperate with each other and share a carcass. The Andean condors, the precarious Andean rulers, are ravenous predators that take an interest in the carcass of nearly all animals. However, for them, not all animal carcasses are delicious, and some animal carcasses are absolutely inedible. Because in some parts of North America, in order to capture cougars and foxes, people illegally put poisonous baits and stuff some dead animals with poison. This behavior has become a disaster for the Andean condors, causing some local Andean condors to be killed poison. In addition, Andean condors have also been shot because some locals feel they pose a threat to livestock. Although it looks like Andean condors are ferocious birds, they only feed on carrion and do not hunt cattle and sheep. Human slaughter is devastating for this raptor, and this majestic vulture simply cannot afford a massive reduction in numbers, and the Andean condor lives about 50 years. They require a longer maturation period, usually starting to reproduce at five or six years of age. They can only raise one young eagle every year, and cannot replenish the population quickly, which makes the number of this bird grow very slowly, and the response to human persecution is particularly obvious. Due to human activities and hunting, the number of Andean condors has decreased significantly in many places. To buck this trend, some countries such as Argentina, Venezuela and Colombia have launched re-residential programs. This project is mainly to replenish the population of the species with the release of Andean condors in US national parks to South America. However, it is not an easy task to raise viable Andean condors with the care of humans. Because the young Andean condor is more afraid of humans, the breeder must feed it with a puppet that reminds it of its parent bird. Scientists also acclimatize the chicks in a simulated ecological environment for three months before releasing it, to ensure they can adapt to their new home. With all preparations in place, these gigantic birds of prey will soon be released into their native habitat, where they will become the new rulers of the Andes.


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