Universum Vultures – Flying dustbins
For centuries, vultures have been assiduous followers of our armies. During the American Civil War, bodies piled up at the Battle of Gettysburg so high that vultures were said to have so overfed on the dead that they were unable to take off and fly.
Nowadays, vultures have restricted their diet to rotting animal cadavers - the reason why most of them are bald-headed: blood-smeared feathers would quickly begin to smell - and their gastric acid is so strong that it can cope with killer bacteria such as cholera or anthrax. For us humans, vultures appear to have just one single positive characteristic: they are brilliant fliers, able to sail through the air for hours on end in a low-energy glide. Yet even this ability has been developed for a single purpose: finding bodies for feeding.
Photography: I. Mc Carthy, M. Pottz, H. Mittermüller
Editor: Roland Buzzi
Producer: Heinrich Mayer-Moroni
Executive Producer: Rudolf Klingohr
Executive Producer: Walter Köhler
Television Premiere: 17.02.2004