Friday, September 08, 2006

Condors Eat Lead

There's an article in National Geographic online about how California condors have been getting lead poinsoning. The condors eat dead animals that were shot with lead bullets, and ingest some of the lead.

When I was 3 years old, I went to the Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology, where they have tons of stuffed animals. When I saw the California condor, which was nearly the same size as a tiny Katie, I burst into tears and made my father carry me on his shoulders for the rest of the day. For a few years, I still had trouble looking at it, and would be very scared when visiting the museum that I would accidentally turn a corner and be face to face with this horrible beast.

So imagine my relief when I learned a few years later that the condor was near extinction. I was pretty perplexed that people actually wanted to save this miserable beast, and I hope they would die out.

I suppose now that I am a little older, wiser, and considerably taller than a condor, I can reluctantly say that the species should be preserved.

I've been thinking about condors a lot recently after finishing Mark A. Hall's Thunderbirds. He dismisses the notion that condor could be responsible for some of the thunderbird sightings, but I'm not totally convinced. It seems like it could be just as possible that a condor could be sighted outside of its normal range as it could that there's an entirely new species.

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