October 31, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

How can a vulture be so majestic?

RaptorAround noon today I was down in the Mt. Diablo, CA area for one of my daughter’s soccer games. The soccer field was in the hills and effortlessly soaring above the field for much of the game was the bird whose picture is above.

The wingspan looked to be about 3.5 feet and it looked like some kind of bird of prey.

Can anyone name this amazing bird?

As it turns out it is a turkey vulture as best as I can tell. When I think “vulture”, I think ugly and other negative things, but this bird in flight is literally awesome and powerful. The arrangement, symmetry and colors of its feathers are a natural work of art. You can be sure that the molecular and genetic orchestra that makes this bird is also a thing of beauty.

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