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female Lammergeier Gypaetus barbatus mounted by Sheals taxidermist(click to enlarge image)This magnificent specimen, mounted attacking a wildcat, is on display in Window on Our World (Nature Zone).

It was prepared by the world famous Belfast firm of taxidermists, James Sheals, in the early 1900s and won a gold medal at an exhibition of taxidermy in Cairo, Egypt, in 1935.


Image: Lammergeier Gypaetus barbatus female (click image to enlarge)

Accession number: Lg7255

This bird inhabits high mountain ranges such as the Pyrenees in Europe and the Himalayas in Asia. It is also found in Africa, in areas from the highlands of Ethiopia to Swaziland in the south.

Besides conventional scavenging, the Lammergeier has learned to fly high and drop bones and even tortoises, onto the rocks below, breaking them open and so enabling it to eat the softer inner parts.