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Animals & Habitats
Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture
Scientific Name
Cathares burrovianus
Central and South America
Conservation Status
Least Concern

A Vulture by Another Name

This New World Vulture is also known as the Savannah Vulture. It has a wingspan of 150 to 170 centimeters (59 to 67 inches). The head and neck are featherless which is an advantage when the vulture’s head is inside a carcass. The vulture’s anatomy is missing the lower larynx or voice organ, called the syrinx, near the junction of the trachea and bronchi. The absence of this vocal organ limits its vocalizations to hisses and grunts.

Carrion Feeder

The Lesser Yellow-Headed vulture has an acute sense of smell and sight in order to find its favorite food, which is carrion. Since its own beak is not strong enough, it relies on the King vulture and other larger vultures to open large mammal carcasses before it begins dining