The sooty albatrosses are small albatrosses from the genus Phoebetria. There are two species, the Sooty Albatross, Phoebetria fusca, and the Light-mantled Albatross, Phoebetria palpebrata. The sooties have long been considered distinct from the rest of the other albatrosses, and have retained their generic status through the many revisions of the family over the last 150 years. They have traditionally been thought of as primitive, sharing some morphological features with the other petrel families. However, molecular work examining the mitochondrial DNA has shown that the taxon is related to the mollymawks, and that the two taxa are distinct from the great albatrosses and the North Pacific albatrosses.
Wednesday, 17 August 2011
Sooty Albatrosses are a type of Albatross that belong to Diomedeidae family and come from the Procellariiformes order, along with Shearwaters, Fulmars, Storm-petrels, and Diving-petrels. They share certain identifying features. First, they have nasal passages that attach to the upper bill called naricorns. Although the nostrils on the Albatross are on the sides of the bill. The bills of Procellariiformes are also unique in that they are split into between 7 and 9 horny plates. Finally, they produce a stomach oil made up of wax esters and triglycerides that is stored in the proventriculus. This is used against predators as well as an energy rich food source for chicks and for the adults during their long flights. They also have a salt gland that is situated above the nasal passage and helps desalinate their bodies, due to the high amount of ocean water that they imbibe. It excretes a high saline solution from their nose.
Posted by Marie Frank at 02:31