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Alternative name: Bearded Vulture
95-125 cm (37-49 inches) long with a 235-280 cm (91-110 inches) wingspan. Buff-yellow body and head, grey tail and wings. Juvenile birds are dark all over, and take five years to reach full maturity.
Subspecies: Up to four subspecies have been recognised:
Clements1 recognises only barbatus (north Africa and Eurasia) and meridionalis (Arabian Peninsula, and eastern and southern Africa).
A recent phylogeographic and genetic study2, however, indicates that Asian birds are more closely related to eastern and southern-African birds than they are to most European birds. The authors of that study do not feel that it is appropriate to distinguish subspecies.
The diet is 90% bone marrow. It will drop large bones and live tortoises from a height to crack them to get smaller pieces.
One to two eggs are laid and incubated for 53 and 58 days. Thereafter the young spend 106 to 130 days in the nest, before flying out on their own.
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