Gannets have no nostrils, because they dive into the sea from a great height, and this design protects their brains from damage from the pressure of the water.
They nest in large groups on cliff ledges and small islands on the coasts of Europe and Canada, although it is most common in the British Isles. They spend the winter at sea as far south as Mexico, the Caribbean and Africa. They are also occasional visitors to the Great Lakes. In the tropics their closest relatives are the boobies.