02-06-2013, 02:41 PM #1
62-yr-old albatross, tracked by USGS since 1956, gives birth to another healthy chick
62 year old albatross, tracked since 1956 by USGS, gives birth to a healthy chick (zmescience.com)
It’s remarkable enough that she reached this age, with the lifespan for the typical albatross being somewhere between 30 and 40 years, but giving birth, and to a healthy offspring… that’s just off the charts; that’s about as stunning as a woman giving birth over 100 years old.
Biologists had previously thought that like other birds, albatross females became infertile late in life and carried on without producing chicks. But Wisdom just defies the traditional beliefs. Her feat could prompt scientists to chuck some of their early theories about the bird out the door. Also, this is not a singulary outstanding event.
Wisdom has raised chicks five times since 2006, and at least 35 in her entire lifetime. Since she was first tagged by the United States Geological Survey in 1956, she has flown a distance of 3 million miles (almost 5 million km). Just so you can get an idea on what that actually means – it’s 6 times to the Moon and back.
02-06-2013, 03:22 PM #2
The albatross in literature, used as a metaphor, you inquire? That would be in Samuel Taylor Coleridge's classic "Rime of the Ancient Mariner":
At length did cross an Albatross,
Thorough the fog it came;
As it had been a Christian soul,
We hailed it in God's name.
In mist or cloud, on mast or shroud,
It perched for vespers nine;
Whiles all the night, through fog-smoke white,
Glimmered the white moonshine."
`God save thee, ancient Mariner,
From the fiends that plague thee thus! -
Why look'st thou so?' -"With my crossbow
I shot the Albatross."
02-06-2013, 04:32 PM #3
02-06-2013, 04:36 PM #4
02-06-2013, 05:02 PM #5
Thanks, tlcya and twocuriouscats.
1.) Never kill an albatross; they are birds of great omen, and also may be about to hatch a live chick.
2.) If an old tar attempts to waylay you on the way to a wedding - refuse to be waylaid, as....
3.) Obviously he is insane and his cockamamie tale will seem the mere ramblings of....
4.) An English poet who was addicted to the opiate-laced drug laudanum. Bonus: most opiate-y lines in 'Rime':
Day after day, day after day, / We stuck, nor breath nor motion; / As idle as a painted ship / Upon a painted ocean.
02-06-2013, 05:24 PM #6
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