; class Aves, order Procellariiformes)
A family of medium to large, white, grey, brown, or black sea-birds which have long, pointed wings and short tails. Their bills are short and heavy to long and slender, and have tubular nostrils, united on the top. Their legs are short to medium, their feet webbed. They are migratory, pelagic, and gregarious, and feed from the sea surface on fish, crustaceans, and fish offal. The 16 or 17 species of shearwaters (Puffinus) breed on islands in most oceans and many migrate between the southern and northern oceans. Prions (three to six species of Pachyptila) are oceanic and feed on zooplankton. Members of the family nest in burrows and rock crevices on cliffs and islands. Fulmars (Fulmarus) often follow ships. Daption capense (Cape petrel or Cape pigeon) nests on the ground in the Antarctic and ranges throughout the southern oceans. Pterodroma petrels (about 25 species) breed on the ground or in burrows on islands in the southern oceans. There are 12 genera in the family, comprising about 60 species, found in all oceans.
Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences.