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Panorama of a Safari Park field exhibit with giraffes, water buffalo, and rhinos

Egyptian Vulture

White rhino with calf

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Egyptian Vulture

The world would be a smellier place without vultures. They eat food that other animals leave behind: stinky, rotting meat! Their bald head keeps rotting food from sticking to it as they eat.

Egyptian vultures don’t have a bald head. That's because they eat things that aren’t as messy: lizards, worms, insects, rats, rabbits, and overripe fruit. They sometimes look for food in garbage dumps. Egyptian vultures really like to eat eggs, especially ostrich eggs! But ostrich eggs are tough: so tough, you can stand on one without cracking it.

How does the vulture solve this challenge? It selects just the right-size rock to drop on the egg, to crack it open. The clever bird then slurps up the goodies! Only a few animal species use tools, and the Egyptian vulture is one of them.

Look for them with their exhibit-mates, the hooded vultures, in African Woods.

Free! Living Legends - San Diego Zoo 100. Help save wildlife in our newest puzzle game.