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Pat Shingleton: "Gobble, Gobble then What?"

4 months 2 days 10 hours ago June 23, 2016 Jun 23, 2016 Thursday, June 23 2016 June 23, 2016 4:14 AM in Pat Shingleton Column
By: Pat Shingleton

Turkey vultures are beneficial to Louisiana as they not only clean the roadways of decomposing animals, also known as “road-kill,” but feast on trash discarded by motorists. Its head-shape gives it easier access inside a carcass. You may have noticed a few scavenging vultures along our Interstates and highways. Their appearance and eating habits could be a stomach turner and another characteristic of the bird may be borderline gross.  To stay cool, turkey vultures initiate a process known as urohydrosis, which is a polite way of noting that it urinates on its legs to prevent overheating.  This serves two purposes for the vulture.  The evaporating urine cools blood circulating through its legs and activates a disinfectant that eliminates germs that the scavenger may have absorbed from an earlier breakfast, lunch or dinner. Gross!

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