Encyclopedia > Procellariidae

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The Procellariidae family are a group of seabirds in the bird order Procellariiformes, which also includes the Albatross family, Diomedeidae, the storm-petrels, Hydrobatidae, and the diving petrels, Pelacanoididae.

The family Procellariidae is the main radiation of medium-sized 'true petrels', characterised by united nostrils with medium septum, and a long outer functional primary. It is dominant in the Southern Oceans, but not so in the Northern Hemisphere.

It includes:

  • The fulmar group
  • The prions, genus Pachyptila. A specialised group of six very numerous species, all southern. They have a small, fulmar-like form and filter-feed on zooplankton.
  • The gadfly petrels. These are large and agile short-billed petrels in the genus Pterodroma.
  • Shearwaters in the genera Calonectris, Puffinus and Procellaria. The three species in the last genus are named as petrels
  • Petrels of indeterminate relationships

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