Learn how vultures eat rotting meat without getting sick, in this episode of Gross Science from NOVA. Vultures are meat-eating scavengers; instead of hunting prey, they wait for carcasses left behind from other hunters. Their incredibly acidic stomachs help kill the pathogens in the rotting meat. Additionally, the intestines of vultures are colonized by species of bacteria that are related to disease-causing ones typically found on rotting meat, which gives vultures a natural tolerance to the bacteria. However, vultures aren’t immune to everything. Certain medications given to livestock are poisonous to vultures. This resource is part of the NOVA: Gross Science Collection.
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