Furry Friends

A Frightful Flying Creature

The harpy eagle is the largest and most powerful raptor found in the rainforest. Early South American explorers named these great birds after harpies, the predatory “frightful, flying creatures with hooked beak and claws” of Greek mythology.

These majestic birds are found in Mexico (though almost extinct), through Central America and into South America to as far south as Argentina. The eagle is most common in Brazil.

The talons on this beast are so large that its main prey are tree-dwelling mammals, such as monkeys and sloths.

Jackals vs Vultures

Jackals and Vultures survive on carrion, and sometimes come into savage competition for a meal. Sharp talons and ferocious beaks versus strong jaws and pointy teeth, the battles can be vicious, violent confrontations.

The carcass was put out for the vultures so that visitors to the Giants Castle Nature Reserve could view them closer, but the vultures were far too late by the time they arrived as the jackals had already claimed it. And it looks like the Jackals won this round.

Not all the fighting looks this simple and tidy. More often, a huge crowd shows up to claim the carrion, and it’s loud, rowdy, and dusty, as you can see from the following photos.

When it’s one on one, the Jackal and Vulture seem to be evenly matched in size, savagery, and vicious determination.

But, with vultures, there’s never just the one!

Sometimes, even with reinforcements, the Vultures win the meal.

But there are days when a Jackal gets the upper hand.

 

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