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Crossing the southern hemisphere oceans for millions of years, if we judge the Albatros through its performance, by size and by comportment, we realize it’s one of the most extraordinary flying birds. They come ashore only to nest, otherwise, they spend over 90% of their life above the waves, using their amazing skill of riding on air currents that carry them thousands of miles allowing them to move about without flapping their long and narrow wings.
The Albatross is a large bird with a wingspan which holds the world record in the wing span: 3.51 m. His body is about 1.25 m long and its weight is more than modest, 12 kg. It is due to pneumatic bones, but their alveolar structure is complex and extremely durable.
Modest body weight is due to air bags, bags whatsoever in connection with the lungs. The beak is strong, measuring 18 cm, each mandible ending with a curved top. On the sides there are two tubes that lead to his nostrils, which fulfill the role in the extraction of salt from sea water. The plumage characteristic is dominated by white, although the wings and the short tail edges are almost black.
Not having any social structure, not even during nesting, the albatross is a solitary bird; rarely are they grouped on the ocean surface and only temporarily to facilitate catching food. Otherwise, they fly lonely either day or night, crossing huge ocean spaces.
The diet of an albatross quite varied but it’s mainly consisting in cephalopods (cuttlefish, squid) and fish that rise to the surface at night, which it captures with its beak. In southern seas, where the wind is usually, blowing over 100 km / h, the albatross can float for hours, not to moving his wings even once because of the amazing technology that uses air drafts. Thus, even if they can have a many millions of kilometers of flight life they have very low power consumption. In fact, his muscles are weak and therefore the bird gets tired quickly when you need to use them.
Even permanent opened wings would require considerable muscular effort to keep up wings with a (3.50 m spread). But an English biologist has discovered that they have a system of tendons that locks the wings in place once they are opened which allows them to sleep while flying. An albatross is able to fly even 550 km in one day. They always go back to the nesting site, even if it is 7000-8000 km away. If you think that the circumference of the globe, measured at 40 degrees latitude, is 30,000 km, then an albatross can circumnavigate the Earth in less time then than the hero of Jules Verne, which needed 80 days to so.
Albatross Pictures Gallery