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The largest of the booby family, the masked booby (Sula dactylatra) is named because of the dark facial skin surrounding the eyes and bill which resembles a mask. Also called the masked gannet or the blue-faced booby, it was first described by the French naturalist René-Primevère Lesson in 1831. It plunge dives for small squid and flying fish. It breeds in the Bahamas and throughout the West Indies, and on other islands in tropical Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific oceans – also ccasionally visiting the south-east United States. It is pelagic, only coming ashore during breeding season.
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