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Wild About Birds - Illinois Vultures!

Family and Species Gallery

Kingdom: Animalia - Animals are multicellular organisms that rely on other organisms for nourishment. There cells do not have cell walls. Most animals are capable of movement at least in some portion of their life cycle. Reproduction is generally sexual, but in some animals asexual reproduction may be utilized at certain times.
Phylum: Chordata - The Phylum Chordata contains the vertebrate animals. Mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fishes are included in this phylum. These animals have a notochord at some point in their development. They have a tubular nerve cord along the back. Gill slits and a tail are present at some point in their life cycle. They have an internal skeleton.
Class: Aves - Birds are the only organisms with feathers. They are endotherms, maintaining a nearly constant body temperature. They have a hard bill but no teeth. A gizzard, which functions to grind food, is present in the digestive tract. Fertilization is internal. A nest is built in which the hard-shelled eggs are deposited and incubated.
Order: Cathartiformes
Family: Cathartidae (New World Vultures)
- Vultures have a medium-sized black body. They soar high above the ground in circlrs, searching for dead organisms (carrion). The head is small and bare. Both sexes are similar in appeaance. During flight, the wings form a shallow "Y."
     black vulture (Coragyps atratus)
     turkey vulture (Cathartes aura)