Bearded vulture

Bearded vulture

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Credit: BILDAGENTUR-ONLINE/MCPHOTO-SCHAEF/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Bearded vulture landing on a cliff edge. The bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus), or lammergeier, is a specialised, solitary scavenger that feeds almost exclusively on bone. It patrols a large mountain territory, looking for cleaned skeletons. Small bones are eaten whole and larger bones are dropped from a height to break them open and expose the bone marrow. It has strong gastric juices that enable it to digest bone. It is found in Europe, Asia and Africa, and is endangered in parts of its range.

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