TIL: Vultures Have to Eat Animals Butt-First

Depending on your beliefs (and luck), when you drop dead, a variety of things await what’s left of your handsome corpse. If you’re Christian, you might be put in a box, and your friends will come by to tell each other how great you look. Nobody said this when you were alive—but hey, take what you can get! Hindus are typically cremated, and if you’re a Jedi, you might meet a similar fate while surrounded by Ewoks.

If you kick the bucket in certain parts of Mozambique, a wake of vultures might gather round and peck out your lifeless eyeballs. After devouring your eyes, these scavenging birds will most likely move on to your butt. Like Sir Mix-A-Lot—but for different reasons—vultures are preoccupied with the derriere. Vultures are just opportunists, and they naturally go after the soft spots first.

National Geographic Explorer Jen Guyton is studying mammal ecology and conservation in Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique. In this week’s Today I Learned, Guyton explains that vultures are eating more tush than usual due to loss of larger scavengers. Bon appétit!

Click here to read more on why vultures are important.