First record of death-feigning in Black Vultures (Coragyps atratus) (Cathartidae)


Death-feigning is a behavior ability with the purpose of allowing prey to evade from predators. Despite death-feigning is recorded on a wide variety of bird species, it has been recorded only once in vultures, more specifically on a Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura) nest. In addition to this record, we report this behavior while manipulating an individual of Black Vulture (Coragyps atratus) in Brazil. This behavior is not usual in Cathartidae since adult vultures do not have a known natural predator.


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Correspondence to Marjory Auad Spina.

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Spina, M.A., Silveira, L.F. First record of death-feigning in Black Vultures (Coragyps atratus) (Cathartidae). Rev. Bras. Ornitol. 27, 242–244 (2019).

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  • anti-predator behavior
  • Brazil
  • physical contact
  • thanatosis