great auk

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great auk:

see aukauk
, 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
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Great Auk


(Pinguinus impennis), extinct flightless bird of the Alcidae family, close to the modern auk. Its body was up to 70 cm long; its wings were small and well-suited to paddling under water. It fed on fish.

The auk inhabited the Atlantic coast of Europe, North America, and Iceland. In the winter it apparently reached Florida and the Mediterranean Sea. It was hunted for its palatable meat, and in the 19th century it was completely destroyed. The last pair of great auks was killed in 1844 on the island of Elde, near Iceland.

great auk

hunters killed such large numbers, these birds became extinct in 1840s. [Ecology: Hammond, 290]

great auk

a large flightless auk, Pinguinus impennis, extinct since the middle of the 19th century
References in periodicals archive ?
He points out that the great auk co-existed with human hunters for millennia.
The last great auk died in 1844, and the slaughter of species goes on to this day.
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Wurm I levels at Gibraltar, and in late-glacial levels at Nerja, Malaga (Eastham 1986) and Urtiaga, Guipuzcoa (Spain) (unpublished), and numerous finds are reported in the literature (Casoli et al.
These products can be bought directly through the Great Auk website, but a catalogue can also be requested by contacting the company.
Then I found a book called the Doomsday Book of Animals, about extinct species, and the first thing I saw was the creature originally called a penguin, although it turned out to be a great auk, which is now extinct.
One of the rarest items is a juvenile Great Auk, a flightless bird that is now extinct.
The Great Auk is one of the oldest objects and it dates back to the 1750s," Dan said.
GREAT AUK EGG THE NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM EGG COLLECTION, TRING, HERTS THE last Great Auk was killed in 1844 and the 75 remaining eggs from the extinct birds are the most valuable in the world.
Mr Griffiths, 61, a retired bank executive, of Great Auk, Guisborough, died suddenly in the Freeman Hospital, Newcastle, on October 16 of sudden liver failure.
In the midst of the abundance of the early 19th century, it was hard to believe all the men who ever shouldered a gun could erase an entire species, but in the mid-1840s, the disappearance of the great auk proved it was possible.
Organized chronologically into seven sections beginning with 'Fewer Than 100 Years Ago' to 'More Than 50,000 Years Ago', each of these individual chapters list now extinct species that ranging from the better known Passenger Pigeon, Great Auk, and Dodo, to the more obscure Horned Turtle, Australian Thunderbird, and Megatooth Shark.
A RARE egg from the extinct great auk is being displayed for the first time at Liverpool's World Museum.