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 ?
Environmental control of breeding success of rhinoceros auklets at Triangle Island, British Columbia.
Infrared camera recordings showed that whiskered auklets bumped their heads nearly three times more often if their long head feathers were taped down.
Observational and experimental tests in semiprecocial Rhinoceros Auklets Cerorhinca monocerata (Harfenist 1995, Ydenberg et al.
Rhinoceros auklets may number a million, the majority breeding from Southeast Alaska to Puget Sound.
Hatched and reared in complete darkness, the life of a new rhinoceros auklet has never before been seen -- until now.
Experimental evidence for mutual inter- and intrasexual selection favouring a Crested Auklet ornament.
Variation in the diet of Cassin's auklet reveals spatial, seasonal, and decadal occurrence patterns of euphausiids off California, USA.
The bus stopped at Sea Lion Caves, not for sea lions but for rhinoceros auklet (`People were just jumping up and down
cristatus, but it can be exceedingly bad news for Ptychoramphus aleuticus, commonly known as Cassin's auklet.
We plan on continued Rhinoceros Auklet population monitoring, development of a habitat restoration/stabilization program to minimize erosion of auklet nesting areas, and development of a population viability analysis to look at the long-term progress for the population.