(ORDO NEWS) — Black-browed albatrosses can dive much deeper than previously thought. The corresponding article was published in the journal Current Biology.
The black-browed albatross is a large seabird that feeds on fish, crustaceans, and carrion, and may occasionally dive for its prey. However, albatrosses spend most of their time hovering over the water in search of prey.
“Perhaps this is why they have traditionally been considered poor divers, despite having amphibious eyes and the ability to survive without oxygen,” says Tim Gilford, one of the authors of the study from the University of Oxford.
To find out how deep these birds can actually fly, scientists placed electronic depth sensors on black-browed albatrosses living in the Falkland Islands.
It turned out that they can dive to a depth of 19 meters, remaining under water for up to 52 seconds. Diving occurs during the day, which suggests that under water they are guided by sight.
This information should help ecologists better understand what strategies are needed to conserve this species.
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