Griffon vulture dissected

This is a video of griffon vultures eating at a pig-farm near Zaragoza, Spain.

Today, on the fifth story of Naturalis museum in Leiden in the Netherlands, a griffon vulture which had been found dead on 13 July in the Wieringermeer, was dissected.

By investigating the dead bird, scientists wanted to discover whether it was male or female; whether it really died from hunger, as seems probable; etc. The vulture came originally from Guardo, Palencia, Spain.

During the taxidermic work today, another griffon vulture was present. It had died in 1930 in Friesland province and is preserved in the museum, sitting on a branch. This new griffon vulture will not be preserved that way, as that takes up much space.

The last time griffon vultures had died in the Netherlands had been in 1944, when advancing British soldiers had shot a few.

Quite some griffon vultures have visited the Netherlands during the last years. Probably because European Union rules prohibit Spanish farmers from letting dead animals lay about, causing food problems for vultures. In the Netherlands, the vultures have even more problems in finding food. Sometimes, they eat live young gulls.

As TV cameras whizzed, the taxidermist Hein van Grouw put on his plastic gloves. He then used his scalpel on the bird, 5 kilogram in weight (healthy griffon vultures are heavier).

Once critically endangered, griffon vultures are now thriving on the Croatian island of Cres: here.

The dissection of Eurasian black vulture Carmen was in Naturalis in 2005.

Farmers are to be allowed to leave dead livestock in their fields in parts of Europe – to help starving vultures: here.

1 thought on “Griffon vulture dissected

  1. Pingback: Bird anatomy art, lecture by Katrina van Grouw | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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