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New research unlocks clues about the iconic flight of the wandering albatross


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Wandering albatrosses, which are an iconic sight in the Southern Ocean, are highly adapted to long-distance soaring flight. Their wingspan of up to 11 feet is the largest known of any living bird, and yet wandering albatrosses fly while hardly flapping their wings. Instead, they depend on dynamic soaring—which exploits wind shear near the ocean surface to gain energy—in addition to updrafts and turbulence.

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