It Looks Like a Killer!


Vultures. Ugly birds that are assigned with the unenviable duty of eating dead things, thereby helping clean up the environment. Right?

Not necessarily.

Just because something has sharp, pointy teeth or its relatives are carnivores does not mean that it, too, is a carnivore. Appearances are not everything. A vegetarian vulture easily fits in with a biblical creationist model.

I'm not saying that this proves anything, it's just something to take into consideration. But it does interrupt the chain of thought that if something looks like a carnivore, it must be a carnivore. Here, take a look:
Images of vultures circling ominously overhead are often used by Hollywood to signal the imminent demise of someone lost or dying out in the wilderness. So, many people would know vultures to be carrion-eaters, picking the flesh off carcasses of animals that succumbed to the scorching midday sun or were killed by predators.
But one species of vulture is very different. Known as the ‘palm nut vulture’, it feeds almost exclusively on the fleshy outer portions (husk) of the fruit of the oil palm (Elaeis guineensis), or, less frequently, Raphia palm (Raphia spp.). It lives almost entirely in those areas of Africa where the oil palm occurs—forests, savannahs, and mangrove swamps.
You can carrion — I mean, carry on — reading the rest of "The ‘bird of prey’ that’s not", here.

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