Scientific Name: Diomedeidae
Colour: Black, White, Brown, Red, Yellow
Life Span: 12 - 40 years
Location: across the southern seas
Predator: Humans, Tiger Sharks
Prey: Fish, Crab, Squid
Other Name(s): Tubenose
Size (L): 0.9m - 1.3m (35in - 51in)
Weight: 8kg - 10kg (17lbs - 22lbs)
Top Speed: 64kph (40mph)
Habitat: southern waters and islands
Fun Fact: The largest wingspan of any bird!
Albatross Classification and Evolution
The Albatross is a large species of sea-bird found throughout the southern Pacific and even into the colder Antarctic regions. There are 21 different species of Albatross found across the southern seas, but sadly 19 of the different Albatross species are said to be threatened with extinction today. The Albatross is closely related to other sea-birds including Petrels, which are all unique among Birds due to the tubular nostrils on either side of the top of their bill, meaning these Birds are often referred to as Tubenoses. The Albatross was first brought into the public spotlight with Coleridge's 1798 poem, the Rime of the Ancient Mariner.
Albatross Anatomy and Appearance
The Albatross is one of the largest Birds in the skies as the wingspan of the male Wandering Albatross can easily reach 3.5 meters or more in length, meaning that it has the largest wingspan of any Bird. The Wandering Albatross also has a body that is more than 1 meter long (including the tail), with the size of other species generally being slightly smaller. The Albatross is an easily identifiable Bird with long, narrow wings, a large head, and a long, strong bill which is hooked at the end and has sharp blades on either side to handle slippery prey. There are three toes on each of the Albatross's feet with webbed skin between each one. Unlike many other species of Bird, the Albatross has no hind toes as these sea-birds simply have no need for them.