As carcasses are usually scarcely and unpredictably distributed in space and time, vultures must compete fiercely to secure enough food to meet their energy requirements. As a result, vulture feeding events are often high-energy, frenzied occasions with multiple individuals and species attempting to obtain an advantageous position at the carcass. But which vultures species are the most dominant when a group of vultures are feeding at a carcass? A recently published journal identifies which European vultures have the upper hand. As expected, the larger species and older individuals tended to dominate at carcasses, but with some exceptions. The research also perfectly demonstrates how each species evolved different morphological and behavioural characteristics that enable them to coexist by exploiting different parts of carcasses.
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📷 Bruno Berthemy