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Northern Fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis) at breeding site near Reykjavik, Iceland
Fulmars like other members of the bird family Procellariiformes (where also albatrosses belong to) share certain traits. First, they have nasal passages that attach to the upper bill called naricorns. The bills of Procellariiformes are unique in being split into between 7 and 9 horny plates. Finally, they produce a stomach oil made up of wax esters and triglycerides that is stored in the proventriculus. This is used against predators as well as an energy rich food source for chicks and for the adults during their long flights. It will mat the plumage of avian predators, which can lead to their death. Fulmars have a salt gland that is situated above the nasal passage and helps desalinate their bodies, due to the high amount of ocean water that they imbibe. It excretes a strong saline solution from their nose.[