Sunday, August 26, 2012

Turkey vultures, masters of flight

I've been learning a lot about this species from the Turkey Vulture Society.  I always thought they were not picky eaters but it turns out that they prefer to eat meat from an herbivorous animal than from a dead carnivore.  They're also not related to the Old World vultures according to DNA analysis which means that their similarity to the Old World vultures are because of convergent evolution.  In other words, their similar traits evolved separately.  My next painting of these species will be of them sunning themselves in a group, which I also learned is called a venue.  This painting is a portrait of these beautiful birds.  Borrowed from a title of a book written by Pete Dunne, this painting is titled "Wind masters".

1 comment:

levinebar said...

and quite unlike old-world vultures (and most birds) they have a well-developed sense of smell. Very useful in finding carrion. Or leaking gas-pipes