auk


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auk

(ôk), common name for a member of the family Alcidae (alcid family), swimming and diving birds of the N Atlantic and Pacific, which includes the guillemots and puffins. Their legs are set far back on their bodies, making them clumsy on land, where they seldom venture except to nest. The extinct, flightless great auk, Pinguinus impennis, or garefowl, represents the largest species. It was about the size of a goose, black above and grayish white below, and was formerly abundant in the N Atlantic. Slaughtered in its breeding grounds for its flesh, feathers, and oil, it became extinct c.1844. The least auklet (about 6 1-2 in./16.3 cm), common in the Bering Sea region, is the smallest of the family, and the razor-billed auk, Alca torda (16–18 in./40–45 cm), is the largest surviving member. The Eskimos hunt the dovekie (Plautus alle), or little auk, for food and use its feathered skin for clothing. Auks return to the same breeding grounds every year, and each individual goes to the very same nesting site. The single egg is laid on bare rock on cliff ledges, and incubation duties are shared by both parents. Auks are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Charadriiformes, family Alcidae.

auk

[ȯk]
(vertebrate zoology)
Any of several large, short-necked diving birds (Alca) of the family Alcidae found along North Atlantic coasts.

auk

1. any of various diving birds of the family Alcidae of northern oceans having a heavy body, short tail, narrow wings, and a black-and-white plumage: order Charadriiformes
2. little auk a small short-billed auk, Plautus alle, abundant in Arctic regions
References in periodicals archive ?
AUK needed a solution that could provide the increased system performance, cost-savings and the flexibility needed to meet the growing needs of its internal users as well as support its ongoing virtualization strategy.
With the [ocean] current change, the distribution of the water masses is going to change, so the food availability for the little auks would change," she says.
We found the distinctive Great Auk bones in Wurm I levels at Gibraltar, and in late-glacial levels at Nerja, Malaga (Eastham 1986) and Urtiaga, Guipuzcoa (Spain) (unpublished), and numerous finds are reported in the literature (Casoli et al.
The Auk North contract covers the fabrication and installation of a production pipeline, the installation of an umbilical(*), a power cable and subsea equipment.
24/7 access to educational and administrative content, AUK planned to replace
Also nominated are Billy Joe Green for First Law of the Land; Tracey Bones for No Lies; Buffy Sainte Marie for Running for the Drum; and Tanya Tagaq for Auk.
If we are not careful the Liver Bird, which is already on the endangered species list, may soon go the way of the dodo, the moa and the great auk.
AUK poll showed 82 per cent of the public does not want a European superstate.
In 70 percent of the rufous-and-white wrens' duets, the females join a male song, rather than the male picking up on a female's vocalization, Mennill reported in the January 2005 Auk.
In 2003 Nicolson and a friend took the Auk, a 42-foot wooden ketch, from Land's End in England up the west coast of Ireland, through the Hebrides to the Faeroes, a 1,500-mile trip through storm and stillness.
Low: The death of Auk Eye who collapsed after winning a chase at Wolverhampton
The plea to save the world's wildlife is a mixture of laughs and pathos with Sandra Madgwick as the hilarious dancing flea, Joe Cipolla as the Southern Cape Zebra and Rachel Peppin as The Great Auk.