The Vulture in the Sky and the Hominin on the Land: Three Million Years of Human–Vulture Interaction

Federico Morelli, Anna Maria Kubicka, Piotr Tryjanowski, Emma Nelson
  • Anthrozoös, September 2015, Taylor & Francis
  • DOI: 10.1080/08927936.2015.1052279

The symbolic importance of vultures for human beings

What is it about?

In this review paper we discuss the ability of vultures to act as beacons signalling meat in the landscape and our changing relationships with these enigmatic birds through a shared history. Neanderthals and prehistoric modern humans incorporated vulture parts into their culture, and while the symbolic and ritualistic significance of the birds may have varied through time and across cultures, their link with positive life forces is apparent.

Why is it important?

In this study, we outline why vultures are fundamental to maintaining our ecosystem and should therefore be protected.


Professor Federico Morelli
Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Department of Applied Geoinformatics and Spatial Planning

In this study, we focused on how intensity of interspecies interactions (Homo-vultures-carnivores) changed over time. We pointed out also the conservation importance of the species.

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The following have contributed to this page: Miss Anna Maria Kubicka and Professor Federico Morelli