Gannets are seabirds comprising the genus Morus, in the family Sulidae, closely related to boobies. "Gannet" is derived from Old English ganot, ultimately from the same Old Germanic root as "gander". Morus is derived from Ancient Greek moros, "foolish", due to lack of fear shown by breeding gannets and boobies, allowing them to be easily killed.
Gannets are large white birds with yellowish heads; black-tipped wings; and long bills. Northern gannets are the largest seabirds in the North Atlantic, having a wingspan of up to two metres (6+1⁄2 feet). The other two species occur in the temperate seas around southern Africa, southern Australia, and New Zealand.
Gannets can dive from a height of 30 m (100 ft), achieving speeds of 100 km/h (60 mph) as they strike the water, enabling them to catch fish at a much greater depth than most airborne birds.
The gannet's supposed capacity for eating large quantities of fish has led to "gannet" becoming a description of somebody with a voracious appetite.