The Life of Animals | Gull | Gulls (often informally called seagulls) are birds in the family Laridae.  Until recently, most gulls were placed in the genus Larus, but this arrangement is now known to be polyphyletic, leading to the resurrection of several genera.  Gull species range in size from the Little Gull, at 120 g (4.2 oz) and 29 cm (11.5 inches), to the Great Black-backed Gull, at 1.75 kg (3.8 lbs) and 76 cm (30 inches).


Most gulls, particularly Larus species, are ground nesting carnivores, which will take live food or scavenge opportunistically. Gulls have prophylactic unhinging jaws which allow them to consume large prey. Apart from the kittiwakes, gulls are typically coastal or inland species, rarely venturing far out to sea  The large species take up to four years to attain full adult plumage, but two years is typical for small gulls. Large White-Headed Gulls are typically long-lived birds, with a maximum age of 49 years recorded for the Herring Gull

Gulls nest in large, densely packed noisy colonies. Gulls the larger species in particular are resourceful, inquisitive and intelligent birds, demonstrating complex methods of communication and a highly developed social structure.  Gulls have been observed preying on live whales, landing on the whale as it surfaces to peck out pieces of flesh.

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