Albatrosses: flight apparatus


The albatross wing consist of 11 bones: humerus, sesamoid bone, ulna, radius, radiale, ulnare, carpometacarpus, alular digit, two bones of the major digit and one minor digit.
The arm part: humerus and ulna/radius are nearly of the same length and are very long to the hand wing. A sesamoid or spreader bone is situated in the pit of the elbow and is connected to the supracondylar process forming a supporting structure for the patagial fan in the outstreched wing,. This is also found in petrels and shearwaters, but not in the fulmarines, prions and Blue Petrel. 
The hand wing consists of the radiale and ulnare: two small bones in the wrist, carpometacarpus and the digits.

Sternum, coracoid and furcula

sternum albatross pneumatic holes Phoebastria nigripes
  Sternum Black-footed Albatross Phoebastria nigripes.

The breastbone of an albatross is typical that of bird with a gliding flight that has no need for large and powerful musculature for flapping and/or underwater propulsion. For a predominantly gliding flight only rather small muscles that are suited for static forces are sufficient. It is very light built, relatively small, square and has a rather low keel. It is also very pneumatized, showing a good number of holes at the interior side. Breastbones of albatrosses differ in size, but show only little difference in shape and proportions.
The coracoid is short and stubby. The furcula is rather wide but shallow.