Just A Stone’s Throw Away….


Yes, nothing more accurate in describing Egyptian Vulture, Neophron percnopterus, of obtaining his meal of the day. Egyptian Vulture is one of the few birds in the world to figure out the intrinsic value behind a stone. The Egpytian Vultures are known to use stone to break open Ostrich’s egg by throwing the stone towards it. You can see from youtube using the link below:

Egyptian Vulture’s Video

Scientists believes that this behaviour is more of learning rather than evolution. In essence, scientist thinks that this behaviour is something that is learnt rather than that of natural selection. For a more scientific observation, this article provide a more detail observation of this behaviour in Serengeti National Park: here

On a side note, the video also display clearly the idea of Cost and Benefit analysis that has been mentioned a lot of time during lecture. We can see how the Egyptian Vulture and the Eagle choose to move away and surrender their bounty to the much large (and presumable scarier) Lappet-faced Vulture, Torgos tracheliotos. Well, you certainly don’t want to mess with the wrong guy


1. “Jackal vs. Ostrich Eggs vs. Vulture” by NationalGeograhic Youtube channel, 02 December 2008. URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5AAftQIro7Y&NR=1 (accessed on 7 April 2009)

2. “Animal Tool Use” by Jodi Kendall. Inside Wild Blog-Nat Geo Wild, 05 April 2010. URL: http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/wild/community/blogs/inside-wild?plckController=Blog&plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&UID=a012510e-33b9-4c7e-b708-b747ec4dd594&plckPostId=Blog%3aa012510e-33b9-4c7e-b708-b747ec4dd594Post%3a48fc0c5d-44b9-4a74-94bf-db37eefe0dca&plckScript=blogScript&plckElementId=blogDest

3. Jane Van Lawick-Goodall, Hugo Van Lawick-Goodall, 1966. Use of Tools by the Egyptian Vulture, Neophron percnopterus. Nature212, 1468-1469

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *