From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Griffon vulture Gyps fulvus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Accipitriformes
Family: Accipitridae
Genus: Gyps
Savigny, 1809

See text.

Gyps is a genus of Old World vultures in the bird family Accipitridae. Created by Marie Jules César Savigny in 1809, it contains the following extant species:[1]

These are the typical vultures, with bald head, broad wings and mainly dark plumage. They are large scavenging birds, feeding mostly from carcasses of dead animals. Old World vultures find carcasses exclusively by sight. Representatives of this group are found throughout warmer parts of the Old World.

Compared to other vultures, Gyps species have quite feathered heads, with characteristic downy covers. Indeed, rather than being an adaptation for scavenging as once thought, it seems to be related to thermoregulation.

A prehistoric species is known only from fossil remains found in Middle to Late Pleistocene sites all over the central and eastern Mediterranean: Gyps melitensis. Recently, a fossil species Gyps bochenskii has been described from the late Pliocene in Bulgaria[2]


  1. ^ "ITIS Report: Gyps". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 17 November 2014. 
  2. ^ Boev, Z. 2010. Gyps bochenskii sp. n. (Aves: Falconiformes) from the Late Pliocene of Varshets (NW Bulgaria). – Acta zoologica bulgarica, 62 (2): 211-242.

External links[edit]