Friday, 16 December 2011


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.