King Vulture

Sarcoramphus papa

A fair and just ruler

King vultures live up to their name: despite clearly being the more powerful scavengers, they allow other species to eat peacefully by their side. King vultures have a stronger beak than other vultures and can even cut through the skin of larger animals like monkeys.

Characteristics

  • Origin

    Central and South America (from Mexico to Argentina), Trinidad

  • Habitat

    forested zones such as tropical rainforests as well as the fringes of savannahs and steppes

  • Diet

    The king vulture’s diet consists of carrion and dead fish.

  • Status

    least concern

  • Size

    approx. 85 cm

  • Weight

    approx. 4,5 kg

  • breeding period

    55 days

  • Achievable age

    up to 20 years in natural habitat, up to 30 years in human care

Threat Categories of IUCN

Worlds apart

Vultures of South, Central and North America belong to the New World vulture family and are only distant relatives of the European, African and Asian species.

 

Did you know that ...

...the wingspan of a king vulture can reach up to two metres,
...like all New World vultures, they have no septum – so you can see through their nostrils
...in hollows in trees or cliffs, or on the ground?

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