Definitions

albatross

albatross

[al-buh-traws, -tros]
albatross, common name for sea birds of the order of tube-nosed swimmers (Procellari-iformes), which includes petrels, shearwaters, and fulmars. The wandering albatross, Diomedea exulans, made famous by Coleridge's Rime of the Ancient Mariner, has a wingspread of from 10 to 12 ft (305-366 cm), although the wings are only about 9 in. (22.5 cm) wide. Because of their tapering wing design they excel at gliding and flying. Albatrosses eat mainly fish, floating carrion, and refuse. Most albatrosses are found in the South Pacific region, e.g., the wandering and the sooty species; a few, the black-footed (D. nigripes), the short-tailed, and the Laysan (D. immutabilis) albatrosses, regularly frequent the N Pacific. Albatrosses have unique courtship behavior. They groan, scrape their bills, and dance about awkwardly, before pairing and mating occurs. They are colonial breeders, the female laying her single white egg in crude nests on the ground. Both sexes incubate the egg; incubation takes from two to three months. Albatrosses have few natural enemies, with the exception of humans. They were slaughtered for their feathers and wings in the 19th cent., and used in millinery and as "swansdown" pillow stuffings. Albatrosses are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Procellariiformes, family Diomedeidae.

Any of more than a dozen species of large seabirds (family Diomedeidae). Albatrosses are among the most spectacular gliders of all birds; in windy weather they can stay aloft for hours without flapping their wings. They drink seawater and usually eat squid. Albatrosses come ashore only to breed, in colonies typically established on remote oceanic islands. Adults of common species attain wingspans of 7–11 ft (200–350 cm). Albatrosses live long and may be among the few birds to die of old age. They were once held in awe by seamen, who held that killing one would bring bad luck.

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Albatross is an unincorporated community in Lawrence County, Missouri, United States. It lies near the intersection of Route 96 and Route 39, about six miles north of Mount Vernon.

The town was founded after the creation of US 66, something unique with all the little towns lining current Route 96. Several businesses lined US 66 until the building of Interstate 44 to the south, but it still has a few active businesses due to the intersection of the current Route 39 and Route 96.

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