Monday, September 29, 2008

Lappet-faced Vultures


Vultures have quite a dark reputation, so it's easy to forget what lovely birds they are until you see them up close. And even though their taste for rotting carcasses may seem a bit uncivilized, they play a really important role in the foodchain. You can really see this in the Mara, where the carcasses of lion and crocodile kills are so huge. Without vultures to help in the process, these big masses of nutrients would take quite a long time to decompose, but vultures speed up the process, turning otherwise unsightly carcasses into the raw materials for new life.
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