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Antarctic Petrel.jpg

The Antarctic petrel is a boldly marked dark brown and white petrel, found in Antarctica, most commonly in the Ross and Weddell Seas. They eat Antarctic krill, fish, and small squid. They feed while swimming but can dive from both the surface and the air.

The Antarctic petrel is the only known species in the genus Thalassoica, and is a member of the family Procellariidae, and the Procellariiformes order. Also, this petrel along with the snow petrel, the Cape petrel, both giant petrels, and the two species in the Fulmarus family, are considered to be a separate group from the other Procellariidae members. They share certain identifying features. First, they have nasal passages that attach to the upper bill called naricorns. Although the nostrils on the petrels are on the top of the upper bill. The bills of Procellariiformes are also unique in that they are split into between seven and nine horny plates.

Photographer: Nigel Voaden

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