Albatrosses Have No Idea Where They're Going

Who would have thought that the wandering albatross flew around the earth randomly with absolutely no plan? Apparently the person who named it.

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According to some fishermen, albatrosses look "wicked baked."

Scientists used to believe that albatrosses followed a strange mathematical formula when flying around the globe in search of food. Turns out they were wrong. New data suggests that albatrosses have no rhyme or...

reason to their movements, and indeed are flying long distances completely randomly.

According to this article in the New Zealand Herald, data gathered over ten years ago suggested that the albatrosses followed a pattern called a Levy flight. Sayeth the article, "A Levy flight occurs when a search is conducted in a semi-orderly manner, with clusters of short searches over a relatively small area interweaved between long-distance flights from one region to another. Mathematicians showed this was an optimal strategy for foraging for sparse food."

Nope. They don't. Using sophisticated logging instruments and reviewing the previous research, scientists found that the birds do not conform to the formula as previously thought. Not only that but it turns out the old research into bees and deer saying these creatures followed the Levy pattern was also false.

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The sequel to the critically acclaimed Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Joe Bob the Dumbass Albatross did not fare as well on the best seller lists

Albatrosses are one of the most well traveled creatures on the globe, able to fly distances of over 1.5 million MILES in its lifetime. Yeah, we said it, 1.5 million. Plus, they're mentioned in a sweet Pink Floyd song. What have you done with your life?

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Two words... ROAD TRIP!!!!1!!11!!

By speedwell (not verified) on 26 Oct 2007 #permalink

Interestingly, Cmdr. Fluckey (USN) found tagged albatrosses (albatrosi?) from Wake Island flying (and swimming) around the Kurile Islands north of Japan during World War 2. He describes writing to the National Geographic Society to inform them of this, as until that time no-one had known where the Wake albatros-plurals (whatever it is) went during their migrations. I wonder how this would square with the latest research?

ahah! ausum lil blog here! made me laff!!

Aww. Benny is sooo cute!!