Did you know a coven of vultures swirling overhead is called a ‘kettle?’ I love that. It makes me think of a fortune teller’s black magic tea-leaves, steeping in her stove-top cauldron. And of course, we all know what this fortune says. Vultures are the harbinger of death, eagerly awaiting the last painful breath of unlucky desert travelers. They are known as opportunists and cowards, picking at the soft entrails of others’ misfortune, gleeful at their bleach-bone fate. If you’re like me, your thoughts turn instantly to ambulance-chasers and divorce lawyers. The ancient Mayans didn’t see them that way, though. To them, the vulture was a god: human in body, with a naked kingly head. He brought their earthly messages skyward to the other gods, a divine liaison between heaven and earth. Today, this exquisitely-adapted carrion specialist has many things to tell us, if we choose to listen. Tune your ears to today’s entry of The Biomimicry Manual, and maybe you will agree.
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