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guillemot(gĭl`əmŏt'), northern sea bird, genus Cephas, of the 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
..... Click the link for more information. family. The black guillemot, or trystie, Cephus grylle, is about 13 in. (33 cm) long and is very striking in its breeding plumage, being entirely black from bill to tail except for large white wing patches and bright red legs. In winter its plumage is a mixture of black, white, and gray. It inhabits coasts all around the North Atlantic Ocean, but is more abundant on the American side, where it is found as far south as Cape Cod. The pigeon guillemot, C. columba, is very similar to the black guillemot, and may be a geographic variety rather than a distinct species. It is found on Pacific coasts from the Bering Sea to S California and N Japan. Guillemots are distinctive among auks in a number of ways: they are better fliers than most, they are not very gregarious, and the female lays two or three eggs at a time instead of the usual one. Pairs of guillemots tend to occupy particular territories in the water, where they swim and dive for food. Like other auks, they build no nest, but lay their eggs on the rocks. In Great Britain a related bird, called murremurre
, common name for a group of diving birds of the same family as the auk and the puffin (family Alcidae) and including the guillemots. There are three species of murres, all about 18 in. (45 cm) long, brownish black above and white below.
..... Click the link for more information. in North America, is also called guillemot. Guillemots 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.
..... Click the link for more information. , subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Charadriiformes, family Alcidae.
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any northern oceanic diving bird of the genera Uria and Cepphus, having a black-and-white plumage and long narrow bill: family Alcidae (auks, etc.), order Charadriiformes
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005