Misunderstand Animals: Vultures Edition

Leia Wilson, Dedicated Writer

The Vulture


The vulture, like many other animals, is very misunderstood. When we think of vultures, we think of these birds as creatures that constantly circle dead carcasses, and even though that is how they hunt, that is not their whole story as a creature. For one, they play a big role in nature as they dispose of these carcasses.  Plus, they also help prevent diseases in doing this, and, vultures even have the ability to use tools.

How Vultures are Constantly Helping the Environment

It’s kind of ironic how the thing that vultures are most known for, their diet, is actually always helping us. Laura Ellis, at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, has this to say about vultures, “As nature’s hazmat crew, they clean up rotting flesh and in the process rid the environment of disease that could otherwise spread to humans and other animals.”  (Ellis n.p.). When I first thought of vultures, I thought of how vultures were weird and gross the food they eat is when really, I should be thanking vultures for their diet. If it weren’t for vultures, animals and humans would have more diseases to worry about because of all the carcasses that are lying around. One thing that my parents always said was to never touch a dead animal, as they could be dangerous. Well, we don’t have to worry about those diseases spreading as much with the amazing vulture. 

Vultures are Very Intelligent

Vultures are very smart creatures that can do so much more than a lot of people know. Joanne Stolen, from Summit Daily provides this piece of evidence to prove this point, “Vultures are intelligent creatures who love to play. When a vulture discovers a thermal [rising columns of warm air] it is able to hold its wings motionless, and allow the warm air to carry it in large, sweeping circles, toward the sky.” (Stolen n.p.). Vultures know a lot more than we humans peg them to. It’s incredibly cool how vultures are able to do so much, such as using the warm air to their advantage and using tools. We really should appreciate them more.

Vultures Can Use Tools

As said right above, some vultures are so smart that they know how to use tools. The writers at Stanford explains that, “Egyptian Vultures use stones as tools to assault the eggs of ostriches, often throwing rock after rock until an egg is breached and its contents can be consumed. White-winged Choughs, raven-like Australian birds, are reported to employ pieces of mussel shell as hammers in their attempts to open other mussels.” (Stanford n.p.). These Egyptian Vultures are able to use tools, which not many species can do. This backs up my second point that says the vulture is a very smart creature. Before, when I thought of an animal that used tools, I thought of chimps. Now, I can add the Egyptian Vulture to my list.


Unquestionably, vultures are very useful and are a very positive thing in this world. They should not be treated or thought of as less, because they are helping us by eating dead creatures that carry diseases, they are very intelligent, and they are even able to use tools. We tend to think of vultures as gross and weird, but we should respect them a lot more.


Did you enjoy reading this piece? Tune in next month to read about the next misunderstood animal. I won’t name the animal, but I will list three facts that could help you guess:

  1. This insect is not technically an animal but is still misunderstood.
  2. This insect has five eyes.
  3. This insect has more than 20,000 species.