What is a talon?

All birds have claws (like a human’s fingernail), but a talon is a special claw.

A talon is the claw of a bird of prey.

A talon is used for hunting and killing. It is a large, sharp, curved and pointed claw.

A bird of prey is also called a raptor, which means to seize or grab using force.

A bird of prey is any bird, such as a hawk, eagle, owl, or vulture, that is carnivorous (meat-eating) and catches their food with their talons. Their food is usually rodents, fish, lizards, and small mammals.

A talon, like all claws, are made of a hard protein called keratin.

eagle

the talons of a vulture

Golden Eagle claw

the talons of an eagle

Vulture claw

the talons of a vulture

African Fish Eagle

the talons of an African Fish Eagle

Macaw

the claws of a Macaw parrot – they are not regarded as talons

 

 

Photographer: Martina Nicolls

Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM

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