King vulture

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King vulture
The extraordinary head of the king vulture
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Ciconiiformes
Family: Cathartidae
Genus: Sarcoramphus
Binomial name
Sarcoramphus papa
(Linnaeus, 1758)

The king vulture (Sarcoramphus papa), is a large bird found in Central and South America. This vulture lives predominantly in tropical lowland forests stretching from southern Mexico to northern Argentina. It is the only surviving member of the genus Sarcoramphus, although fossil members are known.

Large and predominantly white, the king vulture has gray to black ruff, flight, and tail feathers. The head and neck are bald, with the skin color varying, including yellow, orange, blue, purple, and red. The king vulture has a very noticeable yellow fleshy caruncle on its beak.


Sarcoramphus papa -National Zoo -Washington -USA-8a.jpg