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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(Uria), a genus of birds of the suborder Alciformes, order Charadriiformes. The body is 40–48 cm long; the weight, 0.8–1.2 kg. There are two species—the common murre (U. aalge) and the thick-billed murre (U. lomvia). Murres are found in the temperate and polar seas of the northern hemisphere. Their feet are webbed. Murres move awkwardly on land, supported on the metatarsal bone and the toes. Their flight is rapid, and they swim and dive, to 10 m or more, excellently, moving under water with their wings and using their legs as rudders. They nest on sea cliffs in large colonies, appearing at the sites in April and May. One egg is laid directly on the rock. The incubation period is 35 days. Outside the reproductive period, murres keep to the open sea, feeding on small fish, crustaceans, and other marine invertebrates.

In the USSR there are large breeding colonies of murres on the western Murmansk coast, Novaia Zemlia, many Arctic islands, Chukotka, Kamchatka, the Kuril Islands, and Sakhalin. The eggs and the birds are used as food.


Kozlova, E. V. Rzhankoobraznye: Podotriad chistikovye. (Fauna SSSR: Ptitsy, vol. 2., fasc. 3.) Moscow-Leningrad, 1957.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
A spectacular example is the 1996 return of the common murre, an auk cousin of the puffin, to Devil's Slide rock, a 900-feet-high coastal sea stack south of San Francisco.
In 2005, thousands of common murres and Brandt's cormorants died along the west coast of North America, and other species experienced reproductive failure; biologists eventually learned that seasonal upwelling was delayed for months.
Common murres (Uria aalge) and Western grebes (Aechmophorus occidentalis) naturally oiled by offshore petroleum seeps at the Ventura and Santa Barbara County coasts in southern California and presented for care at the International Bird Rescue wildlife clinic at LAOBCEC were enrolled in the study.
Versions 1 and 3 contained information about the current situation of the Galician common murre, proposing to achieve two different recovery levels, while Versions 2 and 4 contained additional information about the existence of European common murres and their migrations (Figures 1 and 2).
"There were a lot more chick deaths than ever before, which is difficult to watch," says Parrish, the biologist who monitors the Tatoosh murre colony.
Upstairs, view diving birds including puffins and murres, as well as sea otters and giant spider crabs.
paradisaea Pontoppidan, arctic I R tern Xema sabini (Sabine), Sabine's I R gull Family Alcidae (auks, murres, and puffins) Brachyramphus perdix (Pallas), I R long-billed murrelet Synthliboramphus antiquus I R (Gmelin), ancient murrelet Uria lomvia (Linnaeus), I R thick-billed murre Order Columbiformes (pigeons and doves) Family Columbidae (pigeons and doves) Columba fasciata Say, I R band-tailed pigeon C.
That's what happened 16 years ago to survivors of an oil spill, which had dumped 25,000 gallons of crude just outside San Francisco Bay a few months before the murres gathered together to breed.
In the meantime, the murres must be thoroughly cleansed of oil, which destroys their feathers' natural waterproofing abilities and can cause them to freeze to death.
He had to observe the routine discarding of the gill net by-catch; the approximate 50 pounds of discarded sea creatures for every pound of the desired "number one" turbot; the shooting of seagulls, murres, whales, seals, and polar bears (one of the shooting crew members told Dwyer that dead whales make large crabs); the leaving of nets which continued "ghost fishing" (nets which could not be retrieved because of rough seas); and the throwing overboard of garbage and old torn fishing nets.
The removal of these predators has benefitted many other bird species on the islands, including puffins, murres, and auklets.