Family DIOMEDEIDAE

Family DIOMEDEIDAE.

ALBATROSSES.

Nostrils lateral, separated by the wide culmen, each in a separate horny sheath opening forwards. First primary the longest. Margin of breast-bone uneven. Of large size, and known in night by the white of under-wing, with hindmost edge of white or brown. Most clumsy on the water, and very timid in approaching anything that moves. Name probably a composition of Arabic-Portuguese " Alcatraz," meaning any big sea-bird. Rarely, if ever, seen within the tropics. Common in Great Southern Ocean, and curiously enough, though some frequent the Behring Strait, the bird is practically unknown in the North Atlantic. Stretch of wing from 10 to 17 feet. An Albatross supports 20 lbs. weight on an area of 16 s. f. of wing for hours together without any apparent effort, crossing and recrossing wake of ship steaming sixteen miles an hour, and all this with wings perfectly still, except for an occasional flap. An Albatross on the wing shows the most important characters by which a bird is externally distinguished from other animals. The surface of the body is clothed with feathers, which (in the majority of birds), by the great size and special arrangement on the forelimbs, enable these to act as organs of flight. The mouth is in the form of a horny beak. (N. H. M.)

BookTitle: 
Game, Shore And Water Birds Of India
Reference: 
Le Messurier, Augustus. Game, Shore, and Water Birds of India Fourth Edition, 1904.
Title in Book: 
Family DIOMEDEIDAE
Book Author: 
A Le Messurier
Year: 
1904
Page No: 
247
M_ID: 
1699
M_SN: 
Diomedeidae
Volume: 
4th ed.
id: 
13123

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