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Albatross - NEET Important Topic

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Last updated date: 17th Apr 2024
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An Introduction to Albatross

An albatross in flight can be a breathtaking sight. These feathered giants have the world's largest wingspan—up to 11 feet. The Wandering Albatross has a wingspan that ranges from 8 to 11 feet from tip to tip, making it one of the most famous albatross species. This seabird is capable of flying 10,000 miles in a single flight and circumnavigating the globe in 46 days and it manages to fly without expending much energy. Let’s catch a glimpse of this spectacular sea bird and learn about its various features in this article.


Albatross

  • Albatrosses are magnificent birds that spend the vast majority of their lives flying over water.

  • Albatrosses live much longer lives than most other birds and wild animals. Laysan albatrosses, for example, have an average lifespan of 12 to 40 years, though there is evidence that these birds can live much longer.

  • Wandering albatrosses have the largest wingspan of any bird in the world, measuring up to 12 feet (3.7 metres) across. Wandering albatrosses are the largest species of albatross.

  • Albatross bodies are proportional to their wingspans. The smallest albatrosses stand just under three feet tall, while the larger species reach heights of more than four feet. They weigh between 17 and 22 pounds on average.

  • They have an extremely well-developed sense of smell, which aids them in identifying potential food sources as they dive. Krill, squid, small fish, and crustaceans are their main sources of food. They will also consume carrion (dead animals) found floating on the ocean's surface.


Scientific Name of Albatross

Albatross is a member of the family Diomedeidae. The scientific name of the albatross (royal) is Diomedea epomophora. These belong to the order Procellariiformes. They enjoy stormy and windy conditions.

Laysan (phoebastria immutabilis) and black-footed albatross (phoebastria nigripes) are two subspecies of albatross.


Albatross Lifespan

The albatross has a life span of approximately 50 years. Only one egg is produced by the female. The parents look after their child. Before reaching adulthood, the infant learns to fly, approximately after 3-10 months and then, leaves the land.


Albatross Wings

Albatross is a sea bird and has a pair of wings to fly over the water surface. The wings of the albatross are wide. An albatross may have a wingspan of up to 11 feet. Albatros's wingspan is almost double the size of the body. The albatross uses its wings to glide through the ocean breezes, sometimes for hours at a time without stopping or even beating its wings. The birds' large wings allow them to travel further distances.


Bird with Longest Wingspan

The wandering albatross (diomedea exulans) is the world's biggest flying bird, with a wingspan of roughly 12 feet. It belongs to the order “Procellariiformes” of sea birds. The royals have a 236-day nestling phase, whereas the wanderers have a 278-day nestling period due to strong and chilled winters. 


Albatross Images


Black-Footed Albatross (Phoebastria nigripes)


Black-Footed Albatross (Phoebastria Nigripes)


Laysan (PhoebastriaImmutabilis)


Laysan (Phoebastria Immutabilis)


Wandering Albatross (Diomedea Exulans)


Wandering Albatross (Diomedea Exulans)


Albatross Bird Locket

The Albatross bird symbol is used in lockets and jewellery as a symbol of good luck for travellers in the sea and ocean. Nowadays, these are used in jewellery and sold in the market. Albatross is a sea bird and helps in path detection for mariners. 


Albatross Bird Locket


Albatross Bird Locket


Albatross Facts

These birds get together in groups during their breeding and mating time. They mostly live on the surface of seawater but during breeding time, these birds migrate toward land.  These birds travel only for food searching, weather conditions and breeding.


Adaptations of albatrosses to live in the sea:

  • They have unique glands that allow them to consume salt water.

  • To walk on water, these birds have webbed feet.

  • They have a keen sense of hearing and smell. They have nostrils that are tubular and employed for olfaction. When little fish cluster, a foul, oily layer forms on the surface, which the tube snouts eat up.

  • These birds are able to maintain rigid wings by locking elbows and shoulders. Wings are made up of bones and muscles that operate together.  They have strong muscles to drive the wings through the air.

  • They maintain a constant heart rate.

  • They have excellent navigational abilities. These birds are followed by fishermen because they point to large schools of fish.

  • Their beaks feature razor-sharp edges to prevent food from slipping.


Albatrosses cover a short distance during caring for babies and travel long distances in the open ocean to find food. 


Conclusion 

The albatross is a sea bird and a great part of the ecosystem. It has large wings that help them to fly over long distances. These birds are used as a symbol of good luck and are sold in the market.  The above article helps to understand the concept of the albatross. It is useful in NEET from an exam point of view.

Competitive Exams after 12th Science

FAQs on Albatross - NEET Important Topic

1. Is the albatross toothed?

The albatross is a marine bird, which means it spends its whole life at sea. We know that birds don't have teeth, and the albatross is one of them. The birds have no teeth and have a long beak to acquire food. Despite the fact that their bills have ridges that assist them to grab food, birds consume their meal in its entirety. The meal is ground up and put into the gizzard. The gizzard is a muscular organ in the stomach that aids in the crushing of food so that it may be digested.

2. What is the significance of the albatross in the poem rime of the ancient mariner?

The sailors were disappointed when they arrived in the region of mist and snow because they were surrounded by icebergs and there appeared to be no sign of life, according to the poem rime of the ancient mariner. The first indication of life, giving them hope that they would be able to live was reflected by the word albatross, which means "sea bird." It can fly over vast distances and even navigate the open sea. The mariner used these birds as direction indicators. 

3. How do the changes in the environment affect the life of albatrosses?

An oceanic and open sea habitat is home to albatrosses, a kind of seabird. If the ocean is contaminated, it affects their quality of life. As a result of the pollution of the water, their natural ecosystem is harmed. They consume little fish and squid from the sea. If ocean pollution occurs, this creature is impacted and their food supply is reduced. The albatross is significantly impacted by long-lining and trawling. Due to their attraction to the dead squid on long-line hooks, albatross populations are declining. These fishing techniques cause the deaths of 10,000 albatrosses and Cook's petrels per year. They are almost extinct.