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albatross

albatross (ăl´bətrôs), common name for sea birds of the order of tube-nosed swimmers (Procellariiformes), which includes petrels, shearwaters, and fulmars. The wandering albatross, Diomedea exulans, made famous by Coleridge's Rime of the Ancient Mariner, has a wingspread of from 10 to 12 ft (305–366 cm), although the wings are only about 9 in. (22.5 cm) wide. Because of their tapering wing design they excel at gliding and flying. Albatrosses eat mainly fish, floating carrion, and refuse. Most albatrosses are found in the South Pacific region, e.g., the wandering and the sooty species; a few, the black-footed (D. nigripes), the short-tailed, and the Laysan (D. immutabilis) albatrosses, regularly frequent the N Pacific.

Albatrosses have unique courtship behavior. They groan, scrape their bills, and dance about awkwardly, before pairing and mating occurs. They are colonial breeders, the female laying her single white egg in crude nests on the ground. Both sexes incubate the egg; incubation takes from two to three months. Albatrosses have few natural enemies, with the exception of humans. They were slaughtered for their feathers and wings in the 19th cent., and used in millinery and as "swansdown" pillow stuffings.

Albatrosses are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Procellariiformes, family Diomedeidae.

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Diomedeidae

Diomedeidae(albatrosses; class Aves, order Procellariiformes) A family of large sea-birds that have long, narrow wings, a large head, and a long, strong bill with a hooked tip and tubular nostrils. They have short legs, webbed feet, and a reduced or absent hallux. They are pelagic, often gregarious, and have a powerful, gliding flight. They feed on fish, squid, and other marine animals, coming to land only to nest. Diomedea exulans (wandering albatross) has the largest wing-span of any bird, measuring 3.5 m. There are two genera, with 13 species, found in southern oceans and in the N. Pacific, occasionally wandering into other regions.

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Albatross

ALBATROSS

ALBATROSS, the Yankee-owned ship that brought news of the outbreak of the War of 1812 to William Price Hunt, partner of the Pacific Fur Company, at its Astoria post in the disputed Oregon Territory. Hunt chartered the ship and removed the furs from Astoria to avoid possible British capture, thus abandoning the first American fur post on the Columbia River.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Ronda, James P. Astoria and Empire. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1990.

Carl L.Cannon/a. r.

See alsoAstoria ; Fur Trade and Trapping ; Pacific Fur Company .

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albatross

al·ba·tross / ˈalbəˌtrôs; -ˌträs/ • n. (pl. albatrosses ) a large oceanic bird (genera Diomedea and Phoebetria, family Diomedeidae) whose narrow wings may span greater than 10 feet (3.3 m). ∎  a source of frustration; an encumbrance (in allusion to Coleridge's The Rime of the Ancient Mariner).

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albatross

albatross XVII. usu. taken to be alt., by assoc. with L. albus white, of †alcatras pelican, etc. (XVI) — Sp., Pg. alcatraz, var. of Pg. alcatruz orig. bucket of an irrigating water-wheel, corr. to Sp. alcaduz — Arab. al-ḳādūs, i.e. AL-2, ḳādūs pitcher. The changes of sense and form are a serious difficulty.

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albatross

albatross Large, migratory oceanic bird of the Southern Hemisphere famed for its effortless gliding flight. There are 13 species. The wandering albatross has a long, hooked bill, short tail, webbed toes and the greatest wing span of any living bird – 3.5m (11.5ft) or more. Length: 0.7–1.4m (2.3–4.4ft). Family Diomedeidae.

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albatross

albatross the albatross is traditionally believed to bring bad luck, and the word is used for a source of frustration or guilt or an encumbrance, in allusion to Coleridge's poem about the Ancient Mariner and his shooting of the bird.

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albatrosses

albatrosses See DIOMEDEIDAE; PROCELLARIIFORMES.

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albatross

albatrossacross, boss, Bros, cos, cross, crosse, doss, dross, emboss, en brosse, floss, fosse, gloss, Goss, joss, Kos, lacrosse, loss, moss, MS-DOS, Ross, toss •LaosÁyios Nikólaos, chaos •Eos • Helios •Chios, Khíos •Lesbos • straw boss • Phobos • rooibos •extrados • kudos • reredos • intrados •Calvados • Argos • Lagos • logos •Marcos • telos •Delos, Melos •Byblos • candyfloss •tholos, Vólos •bugloss • omphalos • Pátmos •Amos, Deimos, Sámos •Demos • peatmoss • cosmos • Los Alamos • Lemnos • Hypnos • Minos •Mykonos • tripos • topos • Atropos •Ballesteros, pharos, Saros •Imbros • criss-cross • rallycross • Eros •albatross • monopteros • Dos Passos •Náxos • Hyksos • Knossos • Santos •benthos •bathos, pathos •ethos • Kórinthos

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