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One for the Roadrunner

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Old Thursday 18th September 2003, 09:26   #1
steve_nova
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One for the Roadrunner

A few gems of info about this fascinating bird...

Geococcyx californianus (and the slightly smaller G. velox) can run at a speed of around 17 mph and indeed prefer this over flying, which they only do out of extreme nescessity or for roosting at night in a tall bush.

They are well documented as catching and eating ground prey but they have also surprisingly been seen to snatch passing small birds & Dragonflies out of the air (even Hummingbirds!).

Upon catching a large snake, it uses it's wings almost Matador like to baffle itself from potential strikes and makes a grab for the tail, thrashing the snake violently against the ground or other hard surface or cracking it like a whip.

Its carnivorous habits offer it a large supply of very moist food from which it reabsorbs most of the water from its feces before excretion (a feature usually found in desert Mammals).

A nasal gland eliminates excess salt instead of using the urinary tract like most birds.
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Marvellous creature. Gives us perhaps a small hint of what a Veloceraptor might have been like!
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