Birds – The Albatrosses And Petrels

OF the very few large groups of birds that may be diagnosed by a single character, the present forms a notable example, since all of its members agree in possessing tubular external nostrils, whence they are often and appropriately called the Tubinares, or Tube-nosed Swimmers. In addition to this character it may be pointed out that they are all strong flying birds of the ocean, possessing long, narrow wings, and fully webbed front toes, while the first or hind toe is absent or reduced to a mere rudiment.

Although there are some differences of opinion as to the affinities of this group, it seems beyond question that they are most closely related to the Steganopodes, and are conveniently and quite naturally divided into three families, the first of which includes the Albatrosses (Diomedeidae).