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May 23, 2011 | by  | in Opinion |
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Animal of The Week – The Lammergeyer

Firstly I must apologise for Animal of the Week’s absence from the previous issue of Salient. Apparently the editorial team have downgraded this column from weekly, to whenever is convenient. However, I doubt you’ll get to read this apology as it will most likely get edited out… [Editors’ note: Ha! The joke’s on you, we kept it in.]
On to business. This week’s animal is the Bearded Vulture or Lammergeyer. These birds of prey are built for long distance gliding with a massive wingspan of 2.5-3.5 metres. Lammergeyers inhabit mountain areas of about 15,000 feet high, but individuals have been known to utilise their huge wings to reach heights of up to 24,000 feet.
Lammergeyers think eating normal food is for pussies so instead they choose to eat bones. They can do this because the juice in their stomachs is more corrosive than battery acid! We’re not talking little wimpy bones here: they chow down on bones up to four kilograms in weight. That’s about the weight of the Lammergeyer’s own body. When the Lammergeyer finds a bone too big to be swallowed they fly it up into the sky and then hurl the bone towards the ground, smashing it into convenient bite-sized pieces. Even when there are no bones around, the Lammergeyer won’t go hungry. They have been known to use their unique “bone-cracking” technique on live tortoises. As well as this, Lammergeyers have been known to capture much larger prey, such as two foot monitor lizards. Several years ago behaviour such as this caused significant numbers of Lammergeyer to be killed as people feared that they carried off children.

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  1. Voice of truth says:

    David Burr > Salient. Awkward.

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