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Extinct: Great Auk: These auks were flightless penguins from the Atlantic. They were one of the largest auks standing about 30-34 inches high. They had white and glossy black feathers, and were once seen in huge numbers in the northern frigid areas. Records show that they were hunted to extinction in these places.


The Great Auk (Pinguinus impennis) was a large, flightless bird that became extinct in the mid-19th century. It was the only modern species in the genus Pinguinus, a group of birds that formerly included one other species of flightless giant auk from the Atlantic Ocean region. The Little Ice Age may have reduced the population of the Great Auk by exposing more of their breeding islands to predation by Polar Bears, but massive exploitation for their down drastically reduced the population.


On this day in 1844, the last Great Auk, a relative of puffins and razorbills, was killed on an island off the coast of Iceland. Humans hunted the Great Auk for over 100,000 years. With few natural predators, the Auk had no innate fear of people.

from Education

These 10 Birds Are as Dead as the Dodo

These 10 Birds Are as Dead as the Dodo: Recently Extinct Bird #5 - The Great Auk


A cast/replica Great Auk (Alca impennis) the case 43cm.; 17ins by 35cm.; 13¾ins by 64cm.; 25ins This cast/replica skeleton based on the Funk Island Great Auk at The Natural History Museum at Tring Estimate: £1,200/1,800 22nd November 2016 Evolution Auction