Höhlentauchen / Cave Diving Riviera Maya
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Black Vulture

Rabengeier, Black Vulture, Cave CenoteThe Black Vulture is a scavenger and feeds on carrion, but will also eat eggs or kill newborn animals. In areas populated by humans, it also feeds at garbage dumps. It is found in moist lowland forests and has therefore here an abundant distribution. It is usually seen soaring or perched on fence posts or dead trees. The Black Vulture lays its eggs on the ground in a wooded area, a hollow log, or some other cavity, seldom more than 3 metres above the ground.

It is known to regurgitate when approached or disturbed, which assists in predator deterrence and taking flight by decreasing its takeoff weight. Like all New World Vultures, the Black Vulture often defecates on its own legs, using the evaporation of the water in the feces and/or urine to cool itself, a process known as urohidrosis.

Vultures GeierThe Black Vulture appears in a variety of Maya hieroglyphics in Mayan codices. It is normally connected with either death or as a bird of prey. The vulture’s glyph is often shown attacking humans. This species lacks the religious connections that the King Vulture has. The mexican term for the black vulture, Zopilote, comes from nahuatl the language of the Aztecs (tzopilotl; “tzotl” means dirt and “pilotl” hang or carry referring to the way they carry the carrion while flying.

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