What Is the Anatomy of a Buzzard Like?


Quick Answer

Buzzards have lightweight but strong bones and muscles, streamlined bodies, and respiratory systems that require large oxygen supplies. These physiological features allow buzzards to fly.

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Full Answer

Buzzards have fewer bones than vertebrate animals that live on the ground, because some of the buzzards' bones have fused into single ossifications, which helps the buzzards' bodies withstand the stresses of flying and landing. Some of buzzards' bones are hollow or semi-hollow. Birds are the only vertebrates with fused collarbones, and the muscles used in flight attach to the buzzards' keeled sternums.

Buzzards have approximately 175 different muscles, and most control the legs and wings. The pectoral muscles control the wings and are the largest muscles in buzzards' bodies. The supracoracoideus muscles are located under the pectorals, and buzzards use these muscles to raise their wings in flight. Both the pectorals and the supracoracoideus muscles attach to the buzzards' keeled sternums.

Another physiological feature that allows buzzards to fly is their four-chambered hearts. This type of heart allows the circulatory system to efficiently transport oxygen and other nutrients throughout the buzzards' bodies, which gives them energy to fly. Buzzards' digestive systems utilize gizzards, which crush and rotate food with four bands of muscles. Buzzards eat small grit pieces to help their gizzards crush food. Buzzards and other raptors have eyesight that is eight times sharper than human eyesight due to more neurons in the optic nerves and photoreceptors in the retinas.

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