Sunday, September 5, 2010
Diet of Bones
Bearded vultures, or "Lammergeiers", are scavengers like other vultures. But they are unique amongst vultures because 90% of the bearded vulture's diet consists of the bones of carrion, not the flesh. It eats chunks of bone as big as a human fist in one gulp to partake of the nutritious bone marrow. Its stomach acid pH is unknown at this point, but is believed to be as extreme as that of other vultures - hovering around a pH of 1.
The Journal of Raptor Research notes that bearded vultures can digest bone within 24 hours and the high presence of acid-secreting cells is what allows for the different diet of bearded vultures with that of other vultures.
See it attack and eat