The albatross has the largest wingspan of any other bird species, at approximately 11.5 feet (3.5 m). This large wingspan allows the bird to glide for hundreds of miles without ever flapping its wings. By the time an average albatross reaches 50 years old, the bird has flown over 3.7 million miles (6 million km). While the albatross has the largest wingspan of any living bird species, the ancient Pelagornis sandersi is thought to have had the largest wingspan of any bird in history at 21 feet (6.4 m), according to fossils estimated to be over 25 million years old.
More about the albatross:
- Albatrosses are also strong swimmers and can dive to depths of over 16 feet (5 m) when hunting for food.
- When a female and male albatross mate, they produce just one egg, which they each take turns caring for.
- Albatrosses have historically been hunted for their feathers to be used for decorations for women’s hats, as well as used for down cushioning. There is also evidence the birds were consumed as food by ancient Eskimos.