Lappet-faced vultures are the most powerful and aggressive of the African vultures, and other vultures will usually cede a carcass to the Lappet-faced Vulture if the Lappet-faced decides to assert itself. This is often beneficial to the less powerful vultures because the Lappet-face can tear through the tough hides and knotty muscles of large mammals that the others cannot penetrate.
Lappet-faced Vultures have been recorded as regularly feeding on freshy-killed smaller mammals, birds and reptiles. Some of these are probably road-kills or are pirated from eagles or other raptors but they are also believed to occasionally attack live animals, especially young and weak animals and the nests and young of other birds. Flamingo colonies (including eggs, young and adults), young impalas and guineafowl have reportedly been predated. They are believed to still-hunt from an elevated perch and then drop on their prey, stunning them with the impact and tearing them apart with their strong bills. Most remains found at nests are from small animals possibly caught alive.