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Wandering Albatross

Scientific name: Diomedea exulans

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Wandering Albatross - Diomedea exulans

Wandering Albatross - Diomedea exulans

Photo © Graham Prentice.

The wandering albatross (Diomedea exulans) is an oceanic bird that flies low over the sea's surface, scooping up prey such as squid, fish, and other marine animals. The wandering albatross, a name that aptly describes it's long travels, is well-adapted to lengthy, continous flight.

The wandering albatross has a wingspan of up to 11 feet, the widest wingspan of any bird. The bird's expansive wings enable it to glide efficiently through the air, spending at times several months airborne. The albatross' bill is well-suited for capturing fish and other creatures from the water, with a hooked tip and razor-like edges. Unlike most other birds, the albatross' nostrils are small tubes located on the upper sides of their bill (instead of fused nostrils at the top of the bill).

Classification

Wandering albatrosses are classified within the following taxonomic hierarchy:

Animals > Chordates > Birds > Albatrosses and petrels > Albatrosses > Wandering albatross

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