Mandibuzz is a vulture-like Pokémon, particularly resembling a turkey vulture. It has a bare, pink head and neck, along with a notched black beak and red eyes. There are black eyelashes or eyeliner-like markings above its eyes. A long brown tuft with a bone in the middle extends from the back of its head. It has a tan ruff at the base of its neck, and shaggy darker brown wings with gray tips. Mandibuzz also has shaggy brown tail feathers. Its pink feet have black talons. It has decorated itself with bones — a jaw with sharp teeth — to form a skirt. When Mandibuzz sits on its Vullaby chick within its nest, Mandibuzz's bony skirt combines with the bones around Vullaby's lower body to form an upside-down skull with sharp teeth. Different types of bones fall in and out of use as if there were fashion trends among Mandibuzz.
Mandibuzz lives in nests made from the bones it finds. Weakened prey such as Cubone is dragged back to this nest after Mandibuzz swoops down on it from the sky. Mandibuzz is a female-only species, although it dresses attractively in bones as a fruitless attempt to attract mates.
Two Mandibuzz made their main series debut in Meowth's Scrafty Tactics!. One of the Mandibuzz had eaten the other's food without her permission, causing her to get kicked out of the nest. As a result, she was forced to take the den belonging to a wildScrafty. However, she was later defeated by Scraggy's newly learned High Jump Kick, allowing Scrafty to reclaim its den.
Miruto has a Mandibuzz that she attempted to use to fly to the top of Mt. Serables. Before she could do so, however, Ryouga stopped her due to flying on the mountain being dangerous. Another Mandibuzz appears as a Burst form of Lukov.
Despite Special Attack being its lowest stat, Mandibuzz awards Special Attack EVs when defeated.
Mandibuzz and its pre-evolution were designed by James Turner. According to interviews with Ken Sugimori in Nintendo Dream, Vullaby and Mandibuzz were added late into the development of Pokémon Black and White, and despite the fact that there were "too many bird Pokémon already", their designs were approved.
Mandibuzz and Vullaby can be seen as counterparts to Braviary and Rufflet. Mandibuzz and Braviary share a base stat total of 510, evolve from their pre-evolved forms starting at level 54, and are both part Flying. Mandibuzz and Vullaby are exclusive to Pokémon Black, Black 2, Moon, Ultra Moon, and Shield, while Braviary and Rufflet are to Pokémon White, White 2, Sun, Ultra Sun, and Sword. Whereas Mandibuzz and Vullaby can only be female, Braviary and Rufflet can only be male.