Albatrosses are long-lived, oceanic seabirds which have long held a special affection amongst those who travel the oceans. They are famed for their long-distance migrations and supreme adaptation to the marine environment, with some species spending their entire lives at sea and only returning to land to breed. This is the first comparative account of the albatrosses based on a comprehensive review of their natural history, oceanography. Island geography and recent scientific research. This book thoroughly explores all aspects of albatross biology, distribution and behaviour, as well as such topics as identification and taxonomy. Traditionally, the family has comprised 13 species in two genera, but more recently it has been proposed that 24 species in four genera should be recognised; most species inhabit the southern oceans. The author looks at each taxon, arranging them in various groups for convenience. The authoritative text is accompanied by numerous photographs, diagrams and maps.--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.