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:11/29/2016)... , Nov. 29, 2016   ... identification and object recognition technologies, today released ... for fingerprint recognition solutions that run on ... fingerprint template using less than 128KB of ... compact devices that have limited on-board resources, ...
(Date:11/22/2016)... November 22, 2016 According to the new market ... Print, Face, Vein, Signature, Voice), Multi-Factor), Component (Hardware and Software), Function (Contact ... MarketsandMarkets, the market is expected to grow from USD 10.74 Billion in ... 16.79% between 2016 and 2022. Continue Reading ... ...
(Date:11/17/2016)... Global Market Watch: Primarily supported by ownership types; ... Academics) market is to witness a value of US$37.1 billion ... Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 10.75% is foreseen from ... 2014-2020. North America is not way ... Europe at 9.56% respectively. Report Focus: ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/8/2016)... -- This report analyzes the worldwide markets for Biostimulants in ... & Fulvic), Extract Based, and Others. The report also analyzes ... Turf, Row Crops, and Others. The report provides separate comprehensive ... Japan , Europe , ... and Rest of World. Annual estimates and forecasts are provided ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... 8, 2016  Biotheranostics today announced that new ... the Breast Cancer Index (BCI) in identifying which ... most at-risk for disease recurrence and might benefit ... three studies advancing the understanding of the value ... biology and inform decisions related to patient treatment. ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... 8, 2016 Oxford ... erweitert seine Palette an anpassbaren SureSeq™ NGS-Panels mit ... Panels, das ein schnelles und kostengünstiges Studium der ... bietet eine Erkennung von Einzel-Nukleotid-Variationen (Single Nucleotide Variation, ... einzigen kleinen Panel und ermöglicht eine individuelle Anpassung ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... ... World Technology Awards. uBiome is one of just six company finalists in the ... In addition to uBiome, companies nominated as finalists in this year’s awards include ...
Breaking Biology Technology: