May 2018: Bearded Vulture

Common Name  Bearded Vulture
Scientific Name  Gypaetus barbatus
Alternate Names  Lammergeier, Lammergeyer
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Chordata Aves Accipitriformes Accipitridae Gypaetus
 Vulnerable  Diurnal  Solitary  Carnivore
 Africa, Asia, Europe  Shrubland, Grassland, Rocky Areas, Artificial/Terrestrial
 93-125 cm. | 37-49 in.  228-282 cm. | 90-111 in. (Wingspan)
  4-7 kg. | 10-16 lb.   21-45 yr.
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The bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus,) is an especially large vulture that feeds primarily on bones. They have an extremely high acid content within their stomachs that allows them to consume large bones whole and digest them within 24 hours. As scavengers, they soar 300-4,500 meters in the air, waiting for other predators to take down prey and pick the bones clean before they swoop in to consume the rest of the carcass. By disposing of rotting remains, these birds help keep the ecosystem clear of disease. Because these avians reside across three continents, Africa, Asia, and Europe, they are wide-spread and listed as “Vulnerable” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. However, their populations are rapidly decreasing in Europe, where they are considered endangered.

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