By Terence Lindsey
· Illustrated and obtainable advisor to this targeted aviatorDespite their iconic cultural prestige, genuine albatrosses are mostly restrained to the quarter pointed out via early mariners because the “Roaring Forties” and the “Furious Fifties”, differently often called the Southern Ocean. the one such a lot special attribute of those birds is they experience storms. other than a number of shut kinfolk one of the petrels and shearwaters, they're the one animals (of any type) that do that. They don’t avert storms, or flee them, they climb aboard and experience them. The meteorology of the Southern Ocean is so severe that the area could quite be considered as primarily one huge, immense, unending hurricane. For any non-aquatic animal, this attribute makes the Southern Ocean approximately as inhospitable because the polar wastes or the main severe of deserts. To all however the albatross, that is.This paintings outlines the existence histories of those dazzling birds, and explores a few of the major concepts and strategies that experience advanced to let them to accomplish mastery of 1 of the main adverse areas on this planet.
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Extra info for Albatrosses
The total biomass of fish in the Southern Ocean is very high but biodiversity is strikingly low: there are something close to 22 000 species of fishes in the world, yet fewer than 300 occur south of the Antarctic Convergence. Most of these live near the bottom of the sea rather than at the surface, and many live under the ice along the continental shelf of Antarctica rather than in the Southern Ocean itself. Indeed, a striking characteristic of the Southern Ocean is the absence of the epipelagic (that is, confined largely to the surface layers of the deep ocean environment) fish families so prominent in other oceans.
The cooling of that continent began around 70 million years ago. For millions of years the ocean gap steadily widened as fragments drifted apart, while average temperatures of the region gradually trended downwards, until the entire Southern Ocean ecosystem reached a point roughly recognisable as its present state some 35 million years ago. This does not imply stability, however. There have been episodes of warming, and extreme environmental fluctuations of one kind or another, especially over the past million years or so as the entire planet progressed through several Ice Ages.
And how do they actually catch it? The first thing to explore in solving this conundrum is the nature of the food supply itself. The open ocean is vast, and any food items (whatever they might be) available on the surface can therefore be expected to be extremely sparse and widely scattered. It seems highly improbable that any hungry albatross can afford to pass up an opportunity to seize any item it might encounter on the grounds that it ‘prefers’ some other item. It is far more likely an albatross would seize anything edible it might happen upon, alive or dead, regardless of species, place or time of day.
Albatrosses by Terence Lindsey