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Flight And Navigation, Salt Regulation, Courtship Rituals, Care Of The Young, Conservation

Albatrosses are large, long-lived seabirds in the family Diomedeidae, which contains about 13 species. They are found primarily in the oceans of the Southern Hemisphere. Albatrosses are superb fliers, and may be found far from land, soaring with their wings set in a characteristic bowed position. Together with petrels, shearwaters, and fulmars, albatrosses are grouped in the order Procellariformes, which includes hook-billed sea birds commonly known as tubenoses. The extremely large nostrils on top of the bill lead to a pair of internal tubes, connected to a highly developed olfactory center in the brain. Thus, unlike most other birds, albatrosses possess a keen sense of smell; some biologists think that albatrosses can locate other individuals, food, and breeding and nesting areas by smell alone.

Two waved albatrosses. JLM Visuals. Reproduced by permission.

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Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Adrenoceptor (adrenoreceptor; adrenergic receptor) to Ambient