Evidence for olfactory search in wandering albatross,Diomedea exulans

Wandering Albatross (Diomedea exulans) Science Article 2


Wandering albatrosses (Diomedea exulans) forage over thousands of square kilometers of open ocean for patchily distributed live prey and carrion. These birds have large olfactory bulbs and respond to fishy-scented odors in at-sea trials, suggesting that olfaction plays a role in natural foraging behavior. With the advent of new, fine-scale tracking technologies, we are beginning to explore how birds track prey in the pelagic environment, and we relate these observations to models of odor transport in natural situations.

Gabrielle A. Nevitt, Marcel Losekoot, and Henri Weimerskirch, PNAS, March 25, 2008, vol. 105, no. 12

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