Tiny little cameras were attached to albatross as they flew around over the open ocean hunting. This is important because it is really hard to study albatross at open sea, and virtually impossible to follow individuals one might like to track from, say, a nesting grounds out many miles (they fly fast and far). By attaching cameras, temperature and depth gauges to the birds one gets some VERY interesting results.

I’ve written a review of a paper that just came out in PLoS on this topic and posted it at Surprising Science, here. Please have a look.

Comments

  1. #1 Virgil Samms
    October 7, 2009

    Fascinating. I wouldn’t have thought that an albatross could hunt and eat an orca.

  2. #2 The Science Pundit
    October 7, 2009

    I wouldn’t have thought that an albatross could hunt and eat an orca.

    I got the impression that the albatrosses were following the orcas in order to snatch up smaller fish that the orcas were driving to the surface during their hunt.

  3. #3 David
    October 7, 2009

    “Although the camera slightly changes the aerodynamic shape of the albatross, it did not affect the breeding success of the study birds.”

    I assume they have the photos to prove that. Bird porn.

  4. #4 Greg Laden
    October 7, 2009

    Science Pundit: Virgil is pulling your leg.

  5. #5 Virgil Samms
    October 7, 2009

    If you have to explain the jokes, they’re not funny any more.

  6. #6 The Science Pundit
    October 7, 2009

    That’s what I get for spending too much time arguing with genuine idiots over at Pharyngula: dull senses.

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