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Wandering Albatross flying over the South Atlantic (5656444654).jpg

The impressive wandering albatross (Diomedea exulans) has the largest recorded wingspan of any bird, reaching up to a massive 3.5 metres across. Juveniles have chocolate-brown feathers and a white facemask but over time the white colouration expands, leaving only black at the edges of the wings and tail tip; they take up to nine years to reach adult plumage. The hooked bill is pink and the flesh-coloured legs end in webbed feet, reflecting the largely oceanic life-style of this bird. Unusually amongst birds, albatrosses have tubular nostrils on either side of their upper bill instead of the more common fused nostrils of other bird species.



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