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Aves - Neognathae - Falconiformes - Falconidae - Falco - Falco rusticolus

Furcula (Wishbone) of a Falco rusticolus (Gyrfalcon)


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Species Description
The Gyrfalcon is a bird of the tundra and mountains, breeding on the Arctic coasts of North America, Europe and Asia; it possesses various morphs, ranging from all white to all black. The Gyrfalcon feeds on birds and mammals, with large birds like ptarmigans making up most of the diet. The largest of the falcon species, it uses its large size to kill with speed blows, knocking prey to the ground. Prey not killed by a broken sternum is finished off with the talons. In falconry, the Gyrfalcon was reserved for kings, given the difficulty in capturing one. It was also thought to be part of the fall of the Liao dynasty (907-1125) in China; high taxes on Gyrfalcons led to riots, which resulted in the overthrow of the emperor.
Skeletal Elements Available

Sternum (Breast Bone)

Furcula (Wishbone)

Right Femur (Right Femur)

Left Femur (Left Upper Leg Bone)
External Links
Animal Diversity Web
Encyclopedia of Life
Wikipedia Gyrfalcon Page

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