World’s oldest known wild bird is a mother again on Midway Atoll


155 points | by ilamont 194 days ago


  • misterprime 194 days ago

    Very cool to see the fruits of a long research project. I had no idea birds could live that long or produce offspring that long.

    • paavoova 194 days ago

      I think more interesting is that it, and presumably many others, survived so long in the wild of all places. Many species are known to have significantly extended lifespans in captivity compared to the wild, so that alone isn't unusual. What is is that in all that time, the bird has avoided sickness and disease, predation, other natural perils, as well as man-made perils (according to Wikipedia, major man-made threats for the species are fishing, plastic pollution, lead poisoning, and introduced species), and so on. The bird is going on 70 and has never had access to modern healthcare - something unthinkable for modern society.

      • ModernMech 194 days ago

        Albatrosses have a unique adaptation (dynamic soaring) that allows them to live most of their lives on the open ocean. They don't face many predators or even humans out there. Interestingly enough, global warming is actually helping albatrosses, as increased temperatures lead to increased wind speeds, allowing them to expand their range.

        • felipemnoa 194 days ago

          >>Interestingly enough, global warming is actually helping albatrosses

          This will always be the case whenever there are some extreme changes to the environment. Some species will thrive and some will go extinct. The Cretaceous–Tertiary (K–T) extinction event exterminated three quarters of all life. We are descendants of those mammals that made it through.

          I remember reading somewhere that had it not been for that extinction event we probably would not be here. Don't know if it's true.

          • DrAwdeOccarim 194 days ago

            It probably is true. If it weren't true, there would be something very peculiar about the universe.

      • Razengan 194 days ago

        Parrots can live even longer, even outlive most humans, so the title confused me too, until I noticed "wild."

      • jcims 194 days ago

        Just a small token of appreciation for explicitly qualifying this as 'known' superlative. One of my pet peeves anytime there's a headline discussing the -est of anything.

        • heyjudy 194 days ago

          Anthropocentrism isn't big on humility, but is on being "first" or whatever-est, as if that changed anything. I guess it's purely a game.

        • petermcneeley 194 days ago

          If these birds mate for life then isnt the mate ~ the same age? Or is this a until death do us part situation?

        • hdinnie 194 days ago

          Midway is also known as one of the places in the region most polluted with plastic garbage.

          • timClicks 194 days ago

            Many of the Pacific Islands are lined with plastic bags. It's really quite sad.

            • MentallyRetired 194 days ago

              You can take a walking tour on Google Maps. Really neat.

            • mothsonasloth 194 days ago

              Twas right, said they, such birds to slay, That bring the fog and mist

              • MentallyRetired 194 days ago

                My father's entire life fit inside of this bird's life. He was born after her and died before her.

                That's insane.

                • jcims 194 days ago

                  Same, and my old man died 21 years ago. We’re so used to the opposite that it’s strange when they outlive us.

                • Bayart 193 days ago

                  The oldest tortoise around was born during the Industrial Revolution.

              • TheTruth321 194 days ago

                Mazel Tov!