Life of an albatross: Tackling individuality in studies of populations

Ecologists commonly round off the individuality of individuals, treating animals of the same species, sex, and age like identical units. But individual differences can have demographic effects on interpretation of data at the scale of whole populations, if due to an underlying variability in individual quality, not chance. Researchers examined in the peculiarities that make some wandering albatrosses more successful than others.

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