The great albatrosses (Diomedea) are the largest, with wingspans that can exceed 9.8 ft (300 cm). They lack a dark back except as juveniles. All have a white underwing. The upper wing of the northern royal albatross (D. epomophora sanfordi) is always black, while that of the wandering albatross (D. exulans) and the southern royal albatross (D. epomophora) grow increasingly white with age, especially among males.
When Antipodean (D. antipodensis) and Amsterdam albatrosses (D. amsterdamensis) breed, especially females, they are almost as dark as in as juveniles. In the wandering royal albatross (D. exulans), Tristan albatross (D. dabbenena) and Gibson’s albatross (D. gibsoni), body plumage whitens with age, and females may retain dark markings on the chest, flank, and back. Otherwise the body is chiefly white in the royal and northern royal albatrosses. The long (5.5–7.5 in; 140–190 mm) pale, horn-
The Northern Pacific albatrosses include four medium to small taxa with wingspans of 6.2–7.9 ft (190–240 cm), and all have short, black tails. The two largest, i.e. the short-
The mollymawks, which include 11 small to medium size taxa, are the most diverse group of albatrosses with wingspans of 5.9–8.4 ft (180–256 cm). All have black upper wings and back, variable amounts of black on the underwing, and white body. All have a variable gray eyebrow with heads and necks varying from mainly white to dark gray, some with pronounced paler cap.
The shy albatross, white-
The two sooty albatrosses (Phoebetria), with a wing span of 6.0–7.15 ft (183–218 cm), and the longest and most pointed tails of all albatross taxa, have mainly dark bills, plumage, and legs. However, the light-