I need to stop watching “Nature” on PBSFebruary 12, 2009
Sometimes late at night when we go to bed (I can’t even tell you what day or time), the “Nature” program is on PBS. The last time I watched it before I went to bed, it resulted in a week-long obsession with the Komodo Dragon.
Well, I watched the show again a few nights ago. Big mistake.
This time it was the lammergeier, or bearded vulture. As vultures go, I would have to say it’s the most attractive one I’ve seen. Except for the freaky red-rimmed eyes and tuft of hair under its beak:
And here’s a close up of the eye…
Yeah. I know. Ick!
But the freakiness doesn’t stop there, my friends! This particular sort of vulture does not eat dead animals per se. It isn’t like your garden variety vulture who is kind enough to dispose of roadkill for us. Oh no. This vulture is a bone-eater. It grabs bones and swallows them whole:
You can see why I’m so repulsed, yet fascinated at the same time. According to Wikipedia, it will drop large bones from a height to crack them into smaller pieces. Its old name of ossifrage (“bone breaker”) relates to this habit.
Interestingly enough, the bearded vulture is mentioned in the Bible as a bird that we should not eat — check out Leviticus 11:13 and Deuteronomy 14:12. (Not that I would ever dream of eating one. Yuck!)
Thus began my fascination with another nightmarishly freaky animal. I really need to stop watching that show…goodness only knows what I might see on there the next time. 🙂