I Heart Indies

Friday, April 25, 2014

V is for Vulture


V is for Vulture.

I have a theory that the number of highways has had a direct correlation to the increase in the number of vultures.  This is only conjecture and is neither here nor there, but it must be correct, right?  And yet many species of vulture are endangered.

Humans have great dislike for vultures, and I myself would rather behold a flock of bluebirds on my front porch than a flock of vultures.  A the collective noun for vultures, by the way, is a kettle of vultures.  This is when they're in flight.  When they're perched in trees, they're called a committee, and when they're eating, they're called a wake.

Actually, the vulture is not an animal, it is three different animals at least.  Allow me to explain.  The birds we lump under the term "vulture" actually refers to three different groups of birds that are not closely related, but resemble each other in behavior and appearance because of convergent evolution.  If you fly around looking for dead things to eat, eventually you'll wind up looking like a vulture.  The fact that vultures belong to three different species tells us a couple of things.  1.  Evolution really needs vultures because if there isn't one handy, it'll come up with one.  2.  When it comes to vultures, most people don't take the time to discern the subtle differences, and yet those same people will go on and on about how every sunset is unique and no two snowflakes are alike.

Vultures serve an indispensable service for which we look down on them.  And why?  Because they eat dead things.  Well, check your refrigerator, Chuckles, and let me know how many live animals you have in there.  Humans and vultures both eat dead things.  Humans pay someone to bring dead things to them is the main difference.  That, and that vultures can fly.

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