Albatrosses - Family Diomedeidae - Order Procellariiformes

Albatrosses are very large seabirds in the family Diomedeidae. They range widely in the Southern Ocean and the North Pacific. They are absent from the North Atlantic, although fossil remains show they once occurred there and occasional vagrants are found. Albatrosses are among the largest of flying birds, and species of the genus Diomedea (great albatrosses) have the longest wingspans of any extant birds, reaching up to 3.7 m (12 ft). Albatrosses are usually regarded as falling into four genera, but disagreement exists over the number of species (IOC list holds 21 species). Albatrosses are the most efficient travelers of all vertebrates on the planet.