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Takes an in-depth look at the lives and natural history of the world's true seabirds - the penguins, tubenoses, peleceaniids, gulls, terns, skuas and auks. These birds all spend much of their lives foraging at sea, but they have evolved a different ways to exploit the marine environment whilst being able to return to land to breed. They range from the albatrosses, which take their prey from the surface of the water and are capable of efficient gliding flight for hours on end, to the penguins which have dispensed with flight altogether and have developed a morphology and physiology which enables them to dive deeper and for longer than any other bird.
"[...] This natural history is essential to anyone studying seabirds, and highly recommended to anyone strongly interested in them. For everyone else, I would recommend first reading Eye of the Albatross, by Carl Safina (wonderful, wonderful book!). Afterward, if you find that you would like to learn more about these intriguing birds, especially how and why they are so different, you will know where to turn."
- Grant McCreary (25-11-2008), read the full review at The Birder's Library
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Tony Gaston is a senior research scientist who has spent much of his life studying seabirds. His previous books include two monographs of auk species.
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