By Terence Lindsey
· Illustrated and obtainable consultant to this precise aviatorDespite their iconic cultural prestige, genuine albatrosses are principally restricted to the quarter noted via early mariners because the “Roaring Forties” and the “Furious Fifties”, differently referred to as the Southern Ocean. the only so much precise attribute of those birds is they trip storms. apart from a number of shut relations one of the petrels and shearwaters, they're the single animals (of any style) that do that. They don’t ward off storms, or flee them, they climb aboard and journey them. The meteorology of the Southern Ocean is so severe that the zone may kind of be seen as basically one huge, immense, unending typhoon. For any non-aquatic animal, this attribute makes the Southern Ocean approximately as inhospitable because the polar wastes or the main severe of deserts. To all however the albatross, that is.This paintings outlines the lifestyles histories of those brilliant birds, and explores many of the major innovations and strategies that experience developed to allow them to accomplish mastery of 1 of the main adversarial areas on this planet.
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Extra resources for Albatrosses
The air The currents of the Southern Ocean are ultimately driven by the atmosphere. The links are often varied, complex and tortuous, but in the end, current flows have their origins in relentless winds blowing over an endless ocean through aeons of time. And those winds are driven by forces generated by the spinning of the earth on its axis. Antarctica is the highest as well as the coldest of all the continents – essentially one enormous mile-high plateau – where air pools over the centre, becomes intensely cold and therefore denser, sinks to the surface, and flows downhill to the coast, accelerating as it goes.
Salps and tunicates, in particular, are sometimes important in the diet of yellow-nosed albatrosses and coelenterates (notably the familiar blue stingers swept up so abundantly in summer on Australian beaches) in that of the Galapagos or waved albatross. Krill is a collective term for several species of pelagic crustaceans that are extraordinarily abundant and widespread in the Southern Ocean. Several whale species feed almost entirely on krill. Mainly red or deep pink in colour, they look a bit like shrimp, although they are not especially closely related (roughly the same relatedness as owls to parrots, for example, or koalas to foxes).
Often Lows follow each other only a few days apart, or there may be a dozen or so disturbances, Highs interspersed with Lows in a complex dynamic that completely encircles Antarctica. In short, the meteorology of the Southern Ocean is so extreme that the region might reasonably be viewed as essentially one enormous, endless storm. One with random patches and periods of relative calm, true – but broadly speaking Antarctica is ringed by an eternal torrent of high-velocity air. This abundance of high-velocity air in the Southern Ocean and the rotating nature of weather disturbances together offer a potential ‘transport system’, in any direction needed, to any seabird that can evolve the physical and behavioural means to exploit it.