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    blackangelcj's Avatar
    blackangelcj Posts: 1, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Jan 21, 2007, 05:44 AM
    My question goes thus ,is vulture a saprophyte and why .please be elaborate.
    Thanks in advance.
    Thomas1970's Avatar
    Thomas1970 Posts: 856, Reputation: 131
    Senior Member

    Jan 21, 2007, 09:36 AM
    Hi Blackangel,
    I'm not entirely sure myself, though I would be quite hesitant to use this term in regard to vultures, or any animal for that matter. Firstly, "-phyte" means plant -- this is a term typically reserved for specific plants and fungi. By necessity these plants typically grow on their host source of nutrition, and many such as Indian Pipes lack chlorophyll and thus are incapable of photosynthesis, thereby prooducing energy in any other form. Others, such as many orchids, are simply dependent on the presence of certain fungi in the soil.
    Though probably largely incapable of hunting for live prey, were it ever necessitated -- I would consider vultures to be somewhat more "opportunistic" feeders, much like animals such as coyotes. Though vultures are carrion eaters, the turkey vulture for instance, is a fairly particular eater. They prefer flesh that is only slightly decomposed, generally neglecting more decayed carcasses; and they actually in general, prefer the flesh of herbivores, turning down carnivore flesh whenever possible; in the latter case, probably due to the assumedly elevated presence of compounds such as arachidonic acid.
    I hope this is of some help. Take care. :)

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