The largest of all African vultures with a breath-taking 2.8 m wing span. The lappet-faced vulture is a solitary bird which lives in dry savanna, thornbush and deserts that have isolated trees for nesting, resting and roosting. It has a conspicuous pink-skinned heavy head with a huge bill that it uses for tearing through the hind of thick skinned carcases.
Lappet-faced vultures will hang around the edges of a carcass to wait for the feeding frenzy to finish. It will then move in and finish off the tough skin, tendons and ligaments left by the other birds.
A lappet-faced vulture will defend its carcass against scavengers like jackals.
Lappet-faced vultures have been known to prey on live animals including small mammals and flamingos.
A lappet-faced vulture can quickly tuck away 1.5 kg in its crop (a sock-like storage chamber) so that it can consume the food away from the carcass.
Often other vultures have to wait for the arrival of the lappet-faced as it is the only bird that can open the carcass of some thick skinned animals.
Lappet-faced vulture eggs take 2 days to hatch.
The lappet-faced vulture is so named because of the fleshy folds on its neck known as lappets.
With a wing span of up to 2.8m and a body length of over 1 m the lappet-faced is the largest vulture in Africa.