Navigation Links
Wandering albatrosses follow their nose
Date:3/7/2008

The first study of how individual wandering albatrosses find food shows that the birds rely heavily on their sense of smell. The birds can pick up a scent from several miles away, U.S. and French researchers have found.

"This is the first time anyone has looked at the odor-tracking behavior of individual birds in the wild using remote techniques," said Gabrielle Nevitt, professor of neurobiology, physiology and behavior at UC Davis and an author on the study with UC Davis graduate student Marcel Losekoot of the Bodega Marine Laboratory and Henri Weimerskirch of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, France.

Wandering albatrosses fly for thousands of miles across the ocean, usually gliding a few feet above sea level. Floating carrion, especially squid, make up a large part of their diet.

Albatrosses nesting on Possession Island in the southwestern Indian Ocean were fitted with GPS receivers that recorded their exact position every 10 seconds and stomach temperature gauges that noted every meal. When the birds returned to land after a foraging trip, the researchers removed the equipment and downloaded the data.

They found that the birds usually flew across the wind, which allows them to cross plumes of scent drifting downwind and is also the best strategy for energy-efficient soaring.

Sometimes birds would fly straight to food, but almost half the time an albatross would either turn upwind or zigzag into the wind toward a meal. Both patterns suggest that the birds were following a plume of scent, rather than visual cues. Birds could turn upwind toward a food source several miles away -- well over the visual horizon.

Hunting by scent allows the albatross to cover a strip of ocean several miles wide as it flies crosswind, Nevitt said.

Wandering albatrosses and their relatives do not appear to have particularly good eyesight, compared with other predatory birds, and their eyes may be adapted to scan movement on the horizon. That might help them detect other groups of other birds gathered around food.


'/>"/>

Contact: Andy Fell
ahfell@ucdavis.edu
530-752-4533
University of California - Davis
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Ants and avalanches: Insects on coffee plants follow widespread natural tendency
2. MNI researchers locate neurological basis of depression following sports concussion
3. BIO-key(R) and Tiger IT Awarded a Follow-on Contract for Nationwide Voter / Citizen Registration in Bangladesh
4. Researchers take first steps towards spinal cord reconstruction following injury
5. LSU professor studies army-ant-following birds
6. Ecologist finds dire devastation of snake species following floods of 93, 95
7. A compound extracted from olives inhibits cancer cells growth and prevents their appearance
8. Hungry mothers risk addiction in their adult children
9. Family ties that bind: Maternal grandparents are more involved in the lives of their grandchildren
10. Men unaware of their cancer risk when female relatives test positive for BRCA mutation
11. Carnivorous plants use pitchers of slimy saliva to catch their prey
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/16/2016)... --  EyeLock LLC , a market leader of iris-based ... IoT Center of Excellence in Austin, Texas ... embedded iris biometric applications. EyeLock,s iris authentication ... with unmatched biometric accuracy, making it the most proven ... platform uses video technology to deliver a fast and ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... , April 28, 2016 Infosys ... (NYSE: INFY ), and Samsung SDS, a global ... that will provide end customers with a more secure, fast ...      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130122/589162 ) , ... but it also plays a fundamental part in enabling and ...
(Date:4/19/2016)... April 20, 2016 The new ... a compact web-based "all-in-one" system solution for all door ... reader or the door interface with integration authorization management ... control systems. The minimal dimensions of the access control ... the building installations offer considerable freedom of design with ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - FACIT has announced the ... biotechnology company, Propellon Therapeutics Inc. ("Propellon" or ... of a portfolio of first-in-class WDR5 inhibitors for ... as WDR5 represent an exciting class of therapies, ... medicine for cancer patients. Substantial advances have been ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016  The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) is pleased to ... faster cures for prostate cancer. Members of the Class of 2016 were selected ... Read More About the Class of 2016 PCF Young Investigators ... ... ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... STACS DNA Inc., the sample tracking ... Arkansas State Crime Laboratory, has joined STACS DNA as a Field Application Specialist. ... Jocelyn Tremblay, President and COO of STACS DNA. “In further expanding our capacity as ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 Andrew D ... http://doi.org/10.17925/OHR.2016.12.01.22 Published recently in ... from touchONCOLOGY, Andrew D Zelenetz , discusses ... care is placing an increasing burden on healthcare ... therapies. With the patents on many biologics expiring, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: