Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Vulturine Guineafowl

Acryllium vulturinum
Meet the Vulturine Guineafowl, the largest of all the Guineafowl species. These strange looking birds can be found in eastern Africa, where they inhabit dry grass and scrublands.

Vulturine Guineafowl get their name, of course, from their Vulture-like appearance. While all Guineafowl have bare heads, this species lacks feathers all the way down the neck as well, giving it a very strong resemblance to the scavenging birds.

This bird is also interesting because they much prefer to run rather than fly. When alarmed, they scamper off to hide instead of flying away. They do roost high up in trees, but forage on the ground for small invertebrates, rodents, reptiles, roots, and seeds. Even young Guineafowl are excellent runners. They are precocial and are on their feet not long after hatching.

Vulturine Guineafowl are kept in aviculture. They are hardy, heat tolerant birds.

IUCN Status : Least Concern
Location : Africa
Size :  Body length up to 27in (70cm)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Aves -- Order : Galliformes
Family : Numididae -- Genus : Acryllium -- Species : A. vulturinum

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