Incredible Vulture facts

Cape Vulture catching the sun @ VulPro. Photo Mandy Schrode
Cape Vulture catching the sun @ VulPro. Photo Mandy Schroder

1. Bird’s Eye View
The highest bird flight ever recorded was a Ruppell’s Vulture, which crashed with an airplane at 37 000feet (11 278m) over the Ivory Coast in 1973, this is higher than Mount Everest. A lack of oxygen would kill most other birds.
Scientific studies showed that unique features in their haemoglobin and cardio vascular adaptions allow this.

Vultures have a healthy appetite and pick carcasses clean. @ VulPro. Photo Mandy Schroder
Vultures have a healthy appetite and pick carcasses clean. @ VulPro. Photo Mandy Schroder

2. Guzzle Guts
Mention Africa and everyone thinks of lion, elephant and rhino and always assumes that they would be our biggest eaters. Mammalian carnivores eat about 36% of the total number of animals killed; the rest approximately 70% is eaten by vultures. [http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/25961517]

3. Countries not communities
Vultures fly over massive distances; this territory is referred to as their range. Tagged vultures released in South Africa have been monitored as far afield as Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia.

Typical power line collision injury, often results in wing amputation. Photo Walter Neser
Typical power line collision injury, often results in wing amputation. Photo Walter Neser

4. Power line Hopscotch
Cape Vultures have been tracked following the power lines and pylons to cover the single straightest distance of 1000km. This is incredibly dangerous as vultures break wings on power lines and risk electrocution.

5. Old World and New World Vultures
Who knew? Old World vultures are found in Asia, Africa and Europe. New World vultures are found in the Americas. They are not really related, more grouped together for their scavenging habits.

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