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Swallow-tailed Gull (Creagrus furcatus)DSC_3275

North Seymour Island , Galapagos.


The Swallow-tailed Gull (Creagrus furcatus) is an equatorial seabird in the gull family Laridae. It is the only species in the genus Creagrus, which derives from the Latin Creagra and the Greek kreourgos which means butcher, also from kreas, meat; according to Jobling it would mean "hook for meat" referring to the hooked bill of this species.[2] It was first described by French naturalist and surgeon Adolphe-Simon Neboux in 1846. Its scientific name is originally derived from the Greek word for gull, "Glaros" and via Latin Larus, "gull" and furca "two-tined fork".[3] It spends most of its life flying and hunting over the open ocean. The main breeding location is on the rocky shores and cliffs of Hood, Tower and Wolf Island, with lower numbers on most of the other islands. It is more common on the eastern islands where the water is warmer.[4]


It is the only fully nocturnal gull and seabird in the world,[5] preying on squid and small fish which rise to the surface at night to feed on plankton.[6]

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Taken on April 7, 2012