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a genus of vultures of the order Carnivora. The head and neck, as in other vultures, are covered with short downlike feathers. There are four species, distributed in Southern Europe, Africa, and South and Central Asia. The birds inhabit arid steppes and deserts having low mountains; they nest on cliffs, frequently in colonies. Their main food is carrion, for which they search by hovering in the air for hours at a time. There are two species in the USSR. The better known is the griffin vulture (G. fulvus), which is found in the Crimea, the Caucasus, and Middle Asia. Its wingspread is about 2.4 m, and its weight 6.8–8.2 kg. The plumage is mostly ocherous brown. The rectrices and remiges are black-brown, and the head and neck are white. A single egg is laid; it is incubated by both parents for 48 to 54 days. The larger G. hymalayensis inhabits the Pamirs and Tien-Shan.