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CREATURE FEATURE - FULMARS

As well as nesting on cliffs, fulmars also nest in more accessible places, such as low banks. This makes them more vulnerable to predators. They have, however, a very good way of defending their eggs and chicks - they can spit an extremely foul-smelling and sticky oil, accurately at a predator, for a considerable distance. This helps to stop intruders.

Even the fluffy chicks can squirt oil soon after hatching, in a powerful, well-aimed jet. Sometimes fulmars kill other birds in this way because the oil gums up their feathers so effectively that they cannot fly.

Fulmars are a member of the tubenose family. This family includes albatrosses - the biggest seabird in the world. If you look closely you will see a bump on the top of its beak - this is the tube that gives these birds their name. It is thought that it may help to separate out salt from the seawater, as these birds spend such long periods at sea.

 

 






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