The Prions are small petrels in the genera Pachyptila and Halobaena. They form one of the four groups within the Procellariidae (also referred to as the prions), along with the gadfly petrels, shearwaters and fulmarine petrels.
Distribution / Range
They are found in the Southern Ocean and breed on a number of subantarctic islands.
Prions grow 20–27 cm (7.9–11 in) long, and have blue-grey upper parts and white underparts.
Three species of prion have flattened bills with a fringe of lamellae (miniature ridges inside the bills of water-feeding birds or “teeth”) that act as strainers for zooplankton.
All prions are marine and feed on small crustacea such as copepods, ostracods, decapods, and krill, as well as some fish such as myctophids and nototheniids.
List of species
- Halobaena caerulea, Pachyptila
In addition, fossil remains of some hitherto undescribed prehistoric species have been found. The oldest is from the Late Miocene (Tortonian, some 7-12 million years ago) of the Bahía Inglesa Formation in Chile.
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