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Wurm I levels at Gibraltar, and in late-glacial levels at Nerja, Malaga (Eastham 1986) and Urtiaga, Guipuzcoa (Spain) (unpublished), and numerous finds are reported in the literature (Casoli et al.
An identification of the El Pendo and Cosquer panels as auks or as seabirds nesting colonially is more reasonable than assigning them more narrowly to Pinguinus impennis - even though the excavated middens show that more Great Auk were taken by Palaeolithic hunters than any other species the drawings might represent.
Martin, writing in 1753, says the Great Auk 'stands stately, its whole body erected'; and Newton in 1861 says, 'On the rocks they sat more upright than either guillemots or razorbills'.
In reviewing the known breeding ecology of the Great Auk, Bengtson (1984: 5) concludes that only one egg was laid per season, and if this was lost, it was not replaced; there was no second half to the breeding season.
Among other possible representations of the Great Auk, d'Errico begins with the carved baton from the Magdalenian levels of Raymonden (Dordogne, France).
An engraving from El Pendo (Cantabria, Spain), is taken by d'Errico and others as a good candidate for a Great Auk, but this is clearly not the case.
D'Errico, rightly dismissing this as a representation of the Great Auk, offers no other identification.
The occurrence of young Great Auks in post-glacial sites in Denmark and Norway, far from their breeding sites in historical times, shows how their geographical distribution changed.
Giving credence to the evidence concerning the behaviour of the Great Auks of the island of St Kilda, Bengston (1984) reckoned that the bird must have accomplished egg-laying, incubation and fledging in a period of 6-7 weeks, starting around mid May.
The small wings in the Cosquer paintings identify the Great Auk or Garefowl (Pinguinus impennis), now extinct, which alone among the Alcidae possessed -- like southern penguins -- wings so reduced as to make flight impossible.
The heads of the Cosquer birds appear schematic, but the bill of P3 is reminiscent of the massive beak of the Great Auk.
The Great Auk was a highly gregarious species, even in the water (Newton 1861).