Tracker solves the mystery of albatross flight
SCIENTISTS believe they have finally worked out how the mighty albatross – a seabird capable of travelling 10,000 miles in a single journey and circumnavigating the globe in 46 days – manages to fly without expending almost any energy.
Researchers attached highly sensitive GPS trackers to a group of 16 wandering albatrosses in the Indian Ocean.
They found that albatrosses perform a "highly dynamic manoeuvre" that involves gaining height by angling their wings while flying into the wind, then turning and swooping along for up to 100 metres.
But they are not simply being blown along – they can actually fly much faster than the windspeed, about three times as fast.