Don't forget to double click on pictures to enlarge

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Bet you didn't know

An Albatross can sleep while it flies. It apparently dozes while cruising at 25 mph.

Here are a few more facts:
Albatrosses spend the better part of their lives on the wing, gliding and circling the wind systems of the Southern Ocean.

There is thought to be a total of 750,000 breeding pairs of the 13 species of these massive birds.
Adult Albatrosses share incubation, brooding and feeding of the single chick.

Adults have been recorded flying up to 550 miles per day at speeds of 50 mph, and in a single foraging flight they can cover an incredible 1800 to 9300 miles, a distance greater than the diameter of the earth.

Albatross mortality is high in the first year, but those which survive often surpass 50 years, making them one of the most well-travelled animals in the world.

In today's world, their main threat is being snared in gill-nets and caught on longline hooks.

In folklore the Albatross carried the soul of dead mariners. Should a sailor kill the bird, bad luck would fall upon him for the rest of his natural life. This belief was not universally held, as Albatross feet were once used as tobacco pouches.

Maybe you thought an albatross was simply this?
The word albatross is sometimes used to mean an encumbrance, or a wearisome burden.[1] It is an allusion to Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (1798).


Granny Annie said...

So when you kill an Albatross does that mean you caused the bird to lose the soul it was carrying, thus putting the burden around your neck? ("He/she has an Albatross around the neck.")

I did not know any of this other stuff. You sure come up with some interesting information.

Nancy said...

How interesting.

Our world is filled with wonders that humans will never understand.

Farmchick said...

I have heard most of these things, but did not know...nor had I even considered....that the bird slept while in flight. Very interesting.

Chatty Crone said...

Man, sometimes I wish I could close my eyes and fly too.

Shammickite said...

I don't think I have ever encountered an albatross, either awake or asleep, but if I ever do, I'll make sure he's fully awake, I don't want to be in a collision with a sleeping albatross at 25 mph. Perhaps sleeping while flying accounts for the high albatross mortality????

JeanMac said...

Very interesting.