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 ?
Infrared camera recordings showed that whiskered auklets bumped their heads nearly three times more often if their long head feathers were taped down.
Late Sunday afternoon, after a five week period of incubation, a rhinoceros auklet chick hatched at The Seattle Aquarium.
The viscera were exposed and partially eaten, but the head and legs were attached to the body suggesting that the auklet had not been killed by a resident Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) or Great-horned Owl (Bubo virginianus), both of which commonly remove heads and legs from birds before feeding on them (Hayward et al.
The project has entailed (1) construction of boardwalks to reduce both human and pinniped disturbance to burrows, (2) installation of nest boxes to supplement breeding habitat, provide protected nest sites, and aid in monitoring and management efforts, and (3) studies of demographic traits, population dynamics, and feeding ecology to develop an understanding of factors affecting auklet population dynamics.
NEWPORT - The bird crew at the Oregon Coast Aquarium wasn't sure if the rhinoceros auklets - one of several types of seabirds in the aquarium's outdoor aviary - were nesting or just spending a lot of time in their burrows.
Such a substance might play a role in auklet mating, the researchers speculate.
As a result, auklet parents returned to their burrow nests with gullets filled with larval rockfish--"an unappetizing gray mush," Bertram notes--instead of N.
So, what are managers to do when ecological relationships become strained among a few seabird species, namely western gulls, ashy storm-petrels, and Cassin's auklets (Ptychoramphus aleuticus)?
Whiskered Auklet vocalizations were most diverse with nine note types and five display types.
Nightly concentration of Bald Eagles at an auklet colony.
The auklet deaths decreased similarly, but only with the net topped by the wider white band.
See arctic loon, rhinoceros auklet, black-vented shearwater.