Family XLIII. PROCELLARINAE. FULMARS.
GENUS II. DIOMEDEA, Linn. ALBATROSS
Bill rather longer than the head, nearly straight, stout, much compressed; upper mandible with its dorsal line much declinate, and nearly straight for a third of its length, then concave, ascending to the unguis, on which it is arched and decurved in the third of a circle, the ridge broad, convex, rounded at the base, separated in its whole length by a groove, margined below beyond the nostrils by a prominent line, from the sides, which are erect and slightly convex, the edges sharp, the unguis decurved, much compressed, with its sides flattened, and the tip acute; nostrils sub-basal, prominent, tabular, having a horny sheath; lower mandible with the angle very narrow, reaching to the tip, and having at its extremity a long slender interposed horny process; the outline of the crura gently ascending, and quite straight, until near the end, when it is a little decurved, the sides ascending, nearly erect, a little convex, the edges sharp, the tip extremely compressed, its upper edges decurved. Head rather large, ovate; neck of moderate length; body full. Feet rather short, stoutish; tibia bare, below scaly; tarsus roundish, reticulated; toes three, long, slender, outer very little shorter than middle, scaly for half their length, then scutellate. Claws rather small, slender, slightly arched, somewhat obtuse. Plumage full, soft, blended, but rather fine, somewhat compact above. Wings very long, and very narrow the humerus and cubitus extremely elongated; first quill longest. Tail of twelve broadly rounded feathers, short, rounded.