How Does the Albatross Fly For Thousands of Miles at a Time?

Written by on November 19, 2013 in Other News

Daily Summary

AFMA nets fishing cheat
A joint investigation by the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) and NSW Fisheries led to the conviction of a skipper from the Commonwealth Tuna fishery who was illegally catching and selling tuna. He was fined nearly $10,000 for failing to declare catch and selling it to an unauthorized fish receiver. AFMA takes illegal fishing very seriously and has been ‘working hard to crack down on fishing cheats’ lately. In September two skippers were convicted of fishing in in closed areas and one was fined for breaching shark catch limits. In October, 100 charges were laid against four fishers suspected of underreporting shark catches.

Anadarko oil ship arrives at drill site; protesters unmoved
A small sailing vessel, Vega, is refusing to move from the site where Texan oil giant Anadarko intends to drill, despite the fact that a huge drilling ship, the Noble Bob Douglas, is only 600 meters away. The drill site is located over 100 nautical miles from Raglan, New Zealand. The crew onboard the Vega is hoping to give a flag made by local children that says “I love my beach” to the drilling ship. It is unclear whether drilling will begin with the protest vessels so close by.

Wandering Albatross, Diomedea exulans.

Wandering Albatross, Diomedea exulans. Photo credit: JJ Harrison CC BY-SA 3.0.

How the unflappable albatross can travel 10,000 miles in a single journey
Scientists have finally determined how the albatross manages to fly without expending almost any energy. The albatross, whose wingspan can reach 3.5 meters, can travel 10,000 miles in a single journey and is capable of circumnavigating the globe in only 46 days. Researchers have long wondered how it can stay airborne for so long without flapping its wings. To answer that question, researchers tagged 16 wandering albatross in the Indian Ocean. The tags recorded the bird’s position 10 times a second, providing a detailed record of the flight path. Researchers found that it performs a “highly dynamic maneuver” that involves flying into the wind and angling their wings to get higher, then turning and swooping along for up to 100 meters. By using this method, they can fly up to three times faster than the wind speed, traveling thousands of miles at a time.

And here’s an update on the SeaWorld float at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade:
Alec Baldwin Wants Macy’s to Sink the SeaWorld Float in Holiday Parade
Alec Baldwin and his wife, Hilaria, wrote a letter to the CEO of Macy’s, Terry Lundgren. “Please don’t be a part of SeaWorld’s crisis-management plan,” the Baldwins wrote. So far, Macy’s shows no sign of changing their mind, despite receiving more than 50,000 signatures on a petition organized by PETA. Check out this post to see what SeaWorld has to say.

Copyright © 2013 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.

About the Author

About the Author: Emily Tripp is the Publisher and Editor of She holds marine science and biology degrees from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and a Master of Advanced Studies degree in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. When she's not writing about marine science, she's probably running around outside or playing with her dog. .


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