Albatrosses extract energy from winds to soar, as seen in these diagrammatic views from the side (left) and from overhead (right). Above a wave, winds blow progressively faster the higher you ascend.
As albatrosses rise at an angle from a relatively windless wave trough, they cross a boundary into an area of brisk winds. They abruptly gain airspeed, giving them a burst of kinetic energy that allows them to climb to heights of 10 to 15 meters above the ocean. Then they bank downwind and swoop dow
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