Procellariidae

Class: Aves

Order: Procellariiformes Family: Procellariidae

Number of species: 60 to 76

species

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PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Procellariids (members of the family Procellariidae) have hooked bills that assist them in handling slippery food. The tubular (tube-shaped) nostrils are credited with the birds' well-developed sense of smell used for locating food from far away as well as nests in the dark.

These birds range from 9.1 to 11 inches (23 to 28 centimeters) to 31.9 to 39 inches (81 to 99 centimeters), depending on the species. Wingspans measure about 6.6 feet (2 meters). Pro-cellariids are covered in white, blue, gray, brown, and black feathers. Unlike other wildlife, coloration does not vary by sex or season.

Because their legs are rather weak, procellariids are generally awkward on land. They do not actually walk, but rather shuffle on their breasts and wings. The exception to this is the giant petrel, whose legs are strong.

GEOGRAPHIC RANGE

Procellariids live on oceans throughout the world, in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.

HABITAT

Procellariids live almost exclusively on the ocean, coming to shore only to breed.

phylum class subclass order monotypic order suborder family

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