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Vulture

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vulture

(Science: ornithology) Any one of numerous species of rapacious birds belonging to Vultur, Cathartes, Catharista, and various other genera of the family Vulturidae.

In most of the species the head and neck are naked or nearly so. They feed chiefly on carrion. The condor, king vulture, turkey buzzard, and black vulture (Catharista atrata) are well known American species. The griffin, lammergeir, and Pharaoh's chicken, or egyptian vulture, are common old world vultures.

Origin: OE. Vultur, L. Vultur: cf. OF. Voltour, F. Vautour. Someone who attacks in search of booty.