Albatrosses are very large seabirds. They range widely in the Southern Ocean and the North Pacific. Albatrosses are among the largest of flying birds, and can have longer wingspans than any extant birds, reaching up to 3.7 m (12 ft).
Albatrosses are the most efficient travelers of all vertebrates on the planet. They expend zero energy soaring hundreds of miles over the ocean each day using dynamic soaring and slope soaring. They have a tendon in each shoulder locking their wings fully extended, so once aloft and soaring across a fair breeze they never need to flap their wings. Like some vultures they hunt by smell, sensitive to the odor of carrion and other biological processes.
They feed on squid, fish, and krill by scavenging, surface seizing, or diving. Albatrosses are colonial, nesting for the most part on remote oceanic islands, often with several species nesting together. Pair bonds between males and females form over several years, with the use of "ritualized dances", and last for the life of the pair. A breeding season can take over a year from laying to fledging, with a single egg laid in each breeding attempt.