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It is a scavenging bird, feeding mostly from animal carcasses animals which it finds by sight or by watching other vultures. Large carcasses, since they provide the most subsistence at a sitting, are preferred. Lappet-faced Vultures, perhaps more than any other vulture, will on occasion attack young and weak living animals and raid the nests of other birds. Locally, Lesser Flamingoes, among others, have been reported to be culled by Lappet-faces in this way.
It is about 95-115 cm (37-45 in) in body length, with a wingspan of 2.5-3 m (8.2-9.9 ft). Wild vultures, of the subspecies T. t. tracheliotus, range from 4.4 to 9.4 kg (9.8-20.7 lbs) and, in East Africa, average only 6.2 kg (13.6 lbs). On the other hand, captive vultures of the slightly larger T. t. negevensis subspecies, weighed 6.5-9.2 kg (14.3-20.2 lbs) in males and 10.5-13.9 kg (23.1-30.6 lbs) in females. They are the most powerful and aggressive of the African vultures and other vultures usually cede a carcass to the Lappet-faced Vulture. This is often beneficial to the less powerful vultures because the Lappet-face can tear through the tough hides and muscles of large mammals that the others cannot penetrate, although hyenas are even more efficient in this regard.
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