Animalia > Chordata > Aves > Suliformes > Sulidae > Morus > Morus bassanus

Morus bassanus (Northern Gannet)

Synonyms: Pelecanus bassanus; Sula bassana; Sula bassanus
Language: French; Spanish

Wikipedia Abstract

The Northern gannet (Morus bassanus) is a seabird and the largest member of the gannet family, Sulidae. "Gannet" is derived from Old English ganot "strong or masculine", ultimately from the same Old Germanic root as "gander". Morus is derived from Ancient Greek moros, "foolish" due to the lack of fear shown by breeding gannets and boobies allowing them to be easily killed. The specific bassanus is from the Bass Rock in the Firth of Forth, which holds the world's largest colony of northern gannets. Old names for the northern gannet include solan and solan goose.
View Wikipedia Record: Morus bassanus

EDGE Analysis

Uniqueness Scale: Similiar (0) 
 Unique (100)
Uniqueness & Vulnerability Scale: Similiar & Secure (0) 
 Unique & Vulnerable (100)
ED Score: 13.3345
EDGE Score: 2.66267


Clutch Size [4]  1
Clutches / Year [4]  1
Global Population (2017 est.) [3]  720,000
Incubation [4]  43 days
Maximum Longevity [4]  37 years
Migration [1]  Interoceanic
Speed [6]  62.12 MPH (27.77 m/s)
Water Biome [1]  Coastal
Wing Span [7]  5.642 feet (1.72 m)
Adult Weight [2]  6.612 lbs (2.999 kg)
Birth Weight [4]  80 grams
Breeding Habitat [3]  Coastal cliffs and islands, Coastal marine
Wintering Geography [3]  Atlantic Ocean
Wintering Habitat [3]  Coastal marine, Pelagic
Diet [5]  Carnivore (Vertebrates), Piscivore
Diet - Fish [5]  90 %
Diet - Scavenger [5]  10 %
Forages - Underwater [5]  100 %
Female Maturity [4]  2 years
Male Maturity [4]  3 years


Name Countries Ecozone Biome Species Report Climate Land
Celtic broadleaf forests Ireland, United Kingdom Palearctic Temperate Broadleaf and Mixed Forests  
North Atlantic moist mixed forests Ireland, United Kingdom Palearctic Temperate Broadleaf and Mixed Forests
Scandinavian Montane Birch forest and grasslands Norway, Sweden, Finland Palearctic Tundra

Protected Areas

Important Bird Areas

Prey / Diet

Prey / Diet Overlap


Larus argentatus (Herring Gull)[11]


Parasitized by 
Bursacetabulus morus[12]
Bursatintinnabulus bassanus[12]
Ceratophyllus borealis[13]
Galactosomum cochleariforme[12]

Institutions (Zoos, etc.)

Institution Infraspecies / Breed 
Artis Zoo
Burger's Zoo
Wilhelma Zoo
Zoo am Meer Bremerhaven GmbH

Range Map


North America;

External References



Attributes / relations provided by
1Myers, P., R. Espinosa, C. S. Parr, T. Jones, G. S. Hammond, and T. A. Dewey. 2006. The Animal Diversity Web (online). Accessed February 01, 2010 at
2Nelson, JB (1978). The Sulidae: Gannets and boobies. Oxford, Oxford University Press
3Partners in Flight Avian Conservation Assessment Database, version 2017. Accessed on January 2018.
4de Magalhaes, J. P., and Costa, J. (2009) A database of vertebrate longevity records and their relation to other life-history traits. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 22(8):1770-1774
5Hamish Wilman, Jonathan Belmaker, Jennifer Simpson, Carolina de la Rosa, Marcelo M. Rivadeneira, and Walter Jetz. 2014. EltonTraits 1.0: Species-level foraging attributes of the world's birds and mammals. Ecology 95:2027
6Alerstam T, Rosén M, Bäckman J, Ericson PGP, Hellgren O (2007) Flight Speeds among Bird Species: Allometric and Phylogenetic Effects. PLoS Biol 5(8): e197. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0050197
7British Trust for Ornithology
8Jorrit H. Poelen, James D. Simons and Chris J. Mungall. (2014). Global Biotic Interactions: An open infrastructure to share and analyze species-interaction datasets. Ecological Informatics.
9Annual variation in diets, feeding locations and foraging behaviour of gannets in the North Sea: flexibility, consistency and constraint, K. C. Hamer, E. M. Humphreys, S. Garthe, J. Hennicke, G. Peters, D. Grémillet, R. A. Phillips, M. P. Harris, S. Wanless, Mar Ecol Prog Ser 338: 295–305, 2007
10Flight destinations and foraging behaviour of northern gannets (Sula bassana) preying on a small forage fish in a low-Arctic ecosystem, Stefan Garthea, William A. Montevecchi, Gail K. Davoren, Deep-Sea Research II 54 (2007) 311–320
11Diets of adult and chick Herring Gulls Larus argentatus argenteus on Ailsa Craig, south-west Scotland., M. Nogales, B. Zonfrillo and P. Monaghan, SEABIRD 17: 56-63
12Gibson, D. I., Bray, R. A., & Harris, E. A. (Compilers) (2005). Host-Parasite Database of the Natural History Museum, London
13International Flea Database
Ecoregions provided by World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF). WildFinder: Online database of species distributions, ver. 01.06 WWF WildFINDER
Protected Areas provided by Biological Inventories of the World's Protected Areas in cooperation between the Information Center for the Environment at the University of California, Davis and numerous collaborators.
Ramsar Sites Information Service
GBIF Global Biodiversity Information Facility
Natura 2000, UK data: © Crown copyright and database right [2010] All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100017955
Abstract provided by DBpedia licensed under a Creative Commons License