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Albatrosses: Diomedeidae - Physical Characteristics

Animal Life ResourceBirdsAlbatrosses: Diomedeidae - Physical Characteristics, Habitat, Behavior And Reproduction, Chatham Mollymawk (diomedea Cauta Eremita): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, DIET, ALBATROSSES AND PEOPLE, CONSERVATION STATUS

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

The largest albatrosses have wingspans that can exceed 9.8 feet (3 meters). Adults have black backs and white underwings. Their hooked bills are 5.5 to 7.5 inches (14 to 19 centimeters) with a pinkish hue in adults that are raising chicks.

Northern Pacific albatrosses have wingspans of 6.2 to 7.9 feet (1.9 to 2.4 meters). Although all four species have short, black tails, their bodies vary in coloration. One of the smaller birds, the Laysan albatross, has white feathers on its body and dark upper wings while the black-footed albatross is mostly dark brown except for a white patch on its hind end. The eleven mollymawk species vary greatly in coloration.

The two sooty albatrosses have a wing span ranging from 6 to 7.15 feet (1.8 to 2.2 meters). They have the most pointed tails of the family and have mainly dark bills, feathers, and legs.


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