Picture of the Day: Feasting Vultures
In this startling black and white scene we see a group of White-backed Vultures feasting on an elephant that had died of natural causes. Wildlife photographer Morkel Erasmus took this shot in the remote far north of Kruger National Park in South Africa. He says the smell and noise was unbelievable.
A group of Vultures, which are found on every continent except Australia and Antarctica, are known as a wake, committee, venue, kettle, or volt. The term kettle refers to vultures in flight, while committee, volt, and venue refer to vultures resting in trees. Wake is reserved for a group of vultures that are feeding. [Source]
Vulture stomach acid is exceptionally corrosive, allowing them to safely digest putrid carcasses infected with Botulinum toxin, hog cholera, and anthrax bacteria that would be lethal to other scavengers. The White-backed Vulture (Gyps africanus) is an Old World vulture in the family Accipitridae, which also includes eagles, kites, buzzards and hawks. In 2012 it was listed as an endangered species. [Source]