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Any of several species of gull-like oceanic birds in the family Procellariidae. The northern fulmar (Fulmaris glacialis) ranges from temperate to Arctic waters, and the southern fulmar (F. glacialoides) from temperate to Antarctic waters. The much larger giant fulmar, or giant petrel (Macronectes giganteus), is 3 ft (90 cm) long and has a wingspan of more than 6.5 ft (200 cm). It nests around the Antarctic Circle. Fulmars eat almost anything; their natural foods are small fish, squid, and crustaceans, but they often take ships' garbage and will come ashore for carrion. They fly low over the waves of the open ocean, thus resembling their narrower-winged relatives, the shearwaters, in flight.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on fulmar, visit Britannica.com.