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Tags cheetahs , vultures

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Old 11th November 2017, 02:05 PM   #1
MRC_Hans
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Are scavengers edible?

I hope someone knows about savanna wildlife.

You often, in TV features about wildlife see predators having to ward off scavengers from their catch. Generally, they just growl and slash at them.

Today I saw a feature about a cheetah mother struggling to feed a litter of six (!) cubs. While they were eating she chased away the gathering vultures.

I started to wonder why she didn't kill a few of them. Pretty free food as they walked (well, lurched) right up close. A vulture looks big, but it it only weighs some three kg. So the 15 times heavier cheetah should have no trouble killing it, even if it has a sharp beak.

Do vultures taste very bad or something?

Hans
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Old 11th November 2017, 02:21 PM   #2
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Not speaking from personal experience, but I've heard that a lot of birds taste really bad. (Swan, penguin, puffin, parrots)

Also birds really fight dirty (watch your eyes). I've copped a few pecks from my chickens, and there's no way I'd pick a fight with a vulture.
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Old 11th November 2017, 02:25 PM   #3
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I'm sure she'd eat them but I'm guessing the cheetah knows from experience it is a waste of energy to try to catch one.
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Old 11th November 2017, 02:34 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by novaphile View Post
Not speaking from personal experience, but I've heard that a lot of birds taste really bad. (Swan, penguin, puffin, parrots)

Also birds really fight dirty (watch your eyes). I've copped a few pecks from my chickens, and there's no way I'd pick a fight with a vulture.
Isn't smoked puffin a delicacy in Iceland? Of course not all "delicacies" actually taste good.
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Old 11th November 2017, 02:38 PM   #5
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And only the queen can eat swans over here.
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Old 11th November 2017, 02:42 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by novaphile View Post
penguin.
Quote:
Eventually, penguins began flocking to the ship and the birds were—Cook wrote—“of equal interest to the naturalist and the cook.” He began eating penguins. They taste like “a piece of beef, odiferous cod fish and a canvas-backed duck roasted together in a pot, with blood and cod-liver oil for sauce”—but eventually he convinced the crew’s leader to make everyone eat penguin. Remember, Cook was a physician and was essentially prescribing this fresh meat as medicine.
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-...ctic-22002918/
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Old 11th November 2017, 03:03 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by novaphile View Post
Not speaking from personal experience, but I've heard that a lot of birds taste really bad. (Swan, penguin, puffin, parrots)

Also birds really fight dirty (watch your eyes). I've copped a few pecks from my chickens, and there's no way I'd pick a fight with a vulture.
I wouldn't pick a fight, I'd kick the daylights right out of it.

Hans
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Old 11th November 2017, 03:04 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
I'm sure she'd eat them but I'm guessing the cheetah knows from experience it is a waste of energy to try to catch one.
A cheetah is the fastest land animal on the planet. I'm sure it can jump a vulture. They are rather slow when on the ground.

Hans
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Old 11th November 2017, 03:09 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
A cheetah is the fastest land animal on the planet. I'm sure it can jump a vulture. They are rather slow when on the ground.

Hans
Often, the perspective on wildlife documentaries is misleading. The vultures were likely hanging out beyond the cheetah's reasonable reach.

I don't understand optics/photography well, but I think that if you use a really long zoom lens, you lose depth of field.
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Old 11th November 2017, 03:38 PM   #10
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I haven't ever seen scavengers actually attacked, just chased, whether vultures, hyenas or whatever (and lions are much bigger than hyenas.)

Perhaps the instinct is to protect the kill they have, and not line up more.

A bit of a chase would also allow the other scavengers to get in and munch.
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Old 11th November 2017, 03:38 PM   #11
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Could be a point
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Old 11th November 2017, 03:49 PM   #12
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Lobsters sure are.
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Old 11th November 2017, 04:34 PM   #13
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I read that the liver of meat eaters is a pretty poisonous thing, as it stores all kinds of stuff at the end of the food chain. Specifically vitamin-A poisoning can make you painfully and mortally ill - as I recall, there was once a polar expedition that learned this the hard way after they ate their dog's livers.

Not sure if perhaps similarly the muscle meat or fat of scavengers is high on contaminants.
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Old 11th November 2017, 04:49 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by fagin View Post
And only the queen can eat swans over here.
Not true, She can eat her swans. Some swans are 'owned' by the London Livery Companies, they can serve them. there is a ceremony every year on the Thames where they catch swans and mark them with their ownership.
I think Swan is served in some of the Oxford Colleges as well at High Table.
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Old 11th November 2017, 04:50 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
A cheetah is the fastest land animal on the planet. I'm sure it can jump a vulture. They are rather slow when on the ground.

Hans
I dunno, evolution and all, they are often feeding on the same carcass large predators are eating on. I imagine they know how to stay just far enough away to avoid a swipe.
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Old 11th November 2017, 04:51 PM   #16
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I like a Crab
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Old 11th November 2017, 04:52 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by fagin View Post
...

Perhaps the instinct is to protect the kill they have, and not line up more.

A bit of a chase would also allow the other scavengers to get in and munch.
These are good points. Bird in the hand plus experience chasing and never catching the ever moving competition around the kill.
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Old 11th November 2017, 04:56 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Giordano View Post
Isn't smoked puffin a delicacy in Iceland? Of course not all "delicacies" actually taste good.
Icelandic delicacies include popping open a can of surströmming in brine too though
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Old 11th November 2017, 04:58 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
A cheetah is the fastest land animal on the planet. I'm sure it can jump a vulture. They are rather slow when on the ground.

Hans
A Bantam Cock can

It was a grand upstanding bantam cock,
So brisk and stiff and spry,
With springy step and jaunty plume
And a purposeful look in his eye,
In his little black blinking eye, he had.

I took him to the coop and introduced him
To my seventeen wide-eyed hens.
He tupped and he tupped as a hero tups
And he bowed from the waist to them all, and then
He upped and he tupped 'em all again, he did.

And then upon the peace of me ducks and me geese
He rudely did intrude.
With glazed eyes and open mouths
They bore it all with fortitude
And a little bit of gratitude, they did.

He jumped my giggling guinea fowl
And forced his attentions upon
My twenty hysterical turkeys and
A visiting migrant swan.
But the bantam thundered on, he did.

He ravished my fan-tailed pigeons and
Me lily-white columbines,
And while I was locking up the budgerigar
He jumped my parrot from behind;
She was sitting on me shoulder at the time.

And all of a sudden with a gasp and a gulp
He clapped his hands to his head,
Fell flat on his back with his toes in the air.
My bantam cock lay dead
And the vultures circled overhead, they did.

What a champion brute; what a noble cock;
What a way to live and to die.
I was digging him a grave to save his bones
From the hungry buzzards in the sky
When the bantam opened up a sly little eye.

He gave me a grin and a terrible wink,
The way that rapists do.
He said, "You see them big daft buggers up there?
They'll be down in a minute or two;
They'll be down in a minute or two".
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Old 11th November 2017, 05:31 PM   #20
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A cheetah is relatively light, and vultures are relatively big. If you've seen videos of things like eagles attacking goats, you'll know that being in a fight with a predatory bird is no joke. I would have thought the cheetah would only try it as a last resort, especially as the vulture can fly and therefore catching it would require a great deal of effort.
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Old 11th November 2017, 05:48 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by casebro View Post
Lobsters sure are.
Good god, man, haven't you ever seen what a lobster can do to a cheetah!? The poor feline wouldn't stand a chance!
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Old 11th November 2017, 05:51 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Yeggster View Post
Icelandic delicacies include popping open a can of surströmming in brine too though
Don't they also eat rancid shark meat or something? I hear it's an acquired taste.

Or am I conflating the northern ethnicities?

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Old 11th November 2017, 05:55 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Varanid View Post
I don't understand optics/photography well, but I think that if you use a really long zoom lens, you lose depth of field.
Right idea, wrong name.

What you're thinking of is the ability to distinguish distances from the camera. This goes down when you're zooming in from a long distance; things seem to be closer together than they really are, along the direction the camera's pointed. I don't think that has a special term.

The "field" in "depth of field" is the focus field, which is the range of distances from the camera at which things can be called in-focus; anything too close or too far is outside the focus field, which makes it blurry. If that middle zone where things are in focus encompasses a wide range of different distances (relative to the overall range of distances for the objects in the picture), then lots of the picture it likely to be in focus, and the field is said to have great depth; if it only encompasses a narrow range of distances (relative to teh overall range of distances for the objects in the picture), then a smaller fraction of the stuff in the image will be in focus and you're more likely to have significant out-of-focus parts, and the field is said to have little depth. Typically, close-ups tend to have shallower focus fields (to such an extent that it's nearly impossible to avoid having significant parts of a close-up shot out of focus) and long shots tend to have deeper ones (to such an extent that practically everything in the picture seems equally perfectly focused), because of parallax, although you can either combat or exaggerate that effect with camera settings. Obviously, though, this only affects how clearly we can see the cheetah or vultures, not how close or far apart they seem.

* * *

Not only does chasing pests too much cost energy and pull you farther away from the food that you already know is ready for the eating right there with practically no more new effort, but catching one also might mean getting exposed to whatever it could have picked up from previous meals that weren't as fresh as the one you just killed. Vultures' heads are bald so they can stick them all the way inside rotting animals, and they don't wash afterward.
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Old 11th November 2017, 05:57 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Don't they also eat rancid shark meat or something? I hear it's an acquired taste.

Or am I conflating the northern ethnicities?
Not rancid, but fermented and dried:

Kæstur hákarl

Quote:
Kæstur hákarl (Icelandic pronunciation: ​[ˈhauːkʰardl̥]) (Icelandic for "fermented shark") is a national dish of Iceland consisting of a Greenland shark (Somniosus microcephalus) or other sleeper shark which has been cured with a particular fermentation process and hung to dry for four to five months. Kæstur hákarl has a strong ammonia-rich smell and fishy taste.
It must be good:

Quote:
Chef Anthony Bourdain described kæstur hákarl as "the single worst, most disgusting and terrible tasting thing" he has ever eaten.
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Old 11th November 2017, 06:06 PM   #25
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I have a vague memory from a high school biology class of my teacher saying something about why predators usually only eat herbivores, rather than other carnivores. Something about energy gradients in a food chain...

I'm not sure why this doesn't apply to seafood.
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Old 11th November 2017, 06:11 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
What you're thinking of is the ability to distinguish distances from the camera. This goes down when you're zooming in from a long distance; things seem to be closer together than they really are, along the direction the camera's pointed. I don't think that has a special term.
Perspective distortion?
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Old 11th November 2017, 06:20 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Brainache View Post
I have a vague memory from a high school biology class of my teacher saying something about why predators usually only eat herbivores, rather than other carnivores. Something about energy gradients in a food chain...

I'm not sure why this doesn't apply to seafood.
Predators might avoid other predators because they are dangerous to hunt, but generally I would think predators seek herbivores because there are more of them. Basically every step up the food chain loses about 90% of energy, so things at the bottom of the food chain tend to be a lot more numerous. Also large vs small tends to correlate with rare vs. numerous.
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Old 12th November 2017, 03:47 AM   #28
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One more reason that a cat will not try to kill scavengers - the cat would be tired from killing the animal it wants to eat. Both parties know there would be enough food for both of them. The birds just need to wait for their own turn.
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Old 12th November 2017, 04:27 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by casebro View Post
Lobsters sure are.
Nom nom.

Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
I like a Crab
More nom nom.

Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
Not true, She can eat her swans. Some swans are 'owned' by the London Livery Companies, they can serve them. there is a ceremony every year on the Thames where they catch swans and mark them with their ownership.
I think Swan is served in some of the Oxford Colleges as well at High Table.
We obviously move in different circles. I do like a nice bit of chicken.
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Old 12th November 2017, 06:21 AM   #30
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I think the only carnivore I've eaten has been crocodile, it was very nice.
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Old 12th November 2017, 07:44 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
...

Do vultures taste very bad or something?

Hans

Is taste similar across species? Would a cheetah necessarily like/hate something that a human likes/hates? (No idea what the answer may be!)

I know there's many things we can eat that would make a dog ill, so there's that. But of course since that is only if the dog eats it, and if it does, then probably it does that because it doesn't hate the taste.

Incidentally, I've found that shark tastes pretty much okay. (Tried it just the once.) And sharks are carnivores.

Besides, there are cases of cannibalism in many species (with the mother eating the young, for instance, as well as more ...interesting variations). So I suppose yes, carnivores are edible.
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Old 12th November 2017, 08:34 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Giordano View Post
Isn't smoked puffin a delicacy in Iceland? Of course not all "delicacies" actually taste good.
Fresh puffin is delicious, a lot like pigeon..
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Old 12th November 2017, 08:36 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by alexi_drago View Post
I think the only carnivore I've eaten has been crocodile, it was very nice.
....and some fish probably...
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Old 12th November 2017, 09:00 AM   #34
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Pigs are edible and they scavenge.
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Old 12th November 2017, 11:56 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
....and some fish probably...
Wasn't thinking, yup, not a big fan of fish but occasionally.
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Old 12th November 2017, 12:29 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
Right idea, wrong name.

What you're thinking of is the ability to distinguish distances from the camera. This goes down when you're zooming in from a long distance; things seem to be closer together than they really are, along the direction the camera's pointed. I don't think that has a special term.

The "field" in "depth of field" is the focus field, which is the range of distances from the camera at which things can be called in-focus; anything too close or too far is outside the focus field, which makes it blurry. If that middle zone where things are in focus encompasses a wide range of different distances (relative to the overall range of distances for the objects in the picture), then lots of the picture it likely to be in focus, and the field is said to have great depth; if it only encompasses a narrow range of distances (relative to teh overall range of distances for the objects in the picture), then a smaller fraction of the stuff in the image will be in focus and you're more likely to have significant out-of-focus parts, and the field is said to have little depth. Typically, close-ups tend to have shallower focus fields (to such an extent that it's nearly impossible to avoid having significant parts of a close-up shot out of focus) and long shots tend to have deeper ones (to such an extent that practically everything in the picture seems equally perfectly focused), because of parallax, although you can either combat or exaggerate that effect with camera settings. Obviously, though, this only affects how clearly we can see the cheetah or vultures, not how close or far apart they seem.

* * *

Not only does chasing pests too much cost energy and pull you farther away from the food that you already know is ready for the eating right there with practically no more new effort, but catching one also might mean getting exposed to whatever it could have picked up from previous meals that weren't as fresh as the one you just killed. Vultures' heads are bald so they can stick them all the way inside rotting animals, and they don't wash afterward.
Thanks for the correction/info. Makes sense.
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Old 12th November 2017, 12:35 PM   #37
Giordano
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Originally Posted by alexi_drago View Post
I think the only carnivore I've eaten has been crocodile, it was very nice.
Me too. Tasted a little like chicken. Which, for those of you who haven't had chicken, tastes a little like human flesh...
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Old 12th November 2017, 02:34 PM   #38
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Old 12th November 2017, 02:53 PM   #39
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Bear varies depending on what it's been eating. If it's been eating berries, it's delicious. If it's been spending the last week gnawing on the rotting carcass of an elk, it tastes like rotting carcass.....
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Old 12th November 2017, 07:57 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
....and some fish probably...
Don't they feed farmed tuna with sardines in those huge open sea cages?

Which I consider a waste - I prefer sardines, grilled or canned or fried or cooked - over tuna every day of the week.
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