Logo of nature.ca - Canadian Museum of Nature.
Logo of Natural History Notebooks.
 
Button: Home. Button: Resources. Button: Notebooks A-Z.
Button: Français.
Home > Birds > Great Auk Next
Text: Birds.
   
Great Auk
Photo: Great Auk, Pinguinus impennis.
Great Auk, Pinguinus impennis
More Images »

Where are they found? Atlantic OceanEuropeGreenlandNorth America

Map of the world.


The Great Auk is extinct. In 1844, the last known living pair and one egg were taken, in Iceland.

Large breeding colonies of this flightless, penguin-like sea bird once gathered on rocky offshore islands and coasts of the North Atlantic in Canada, Greenland, Iceland, the British Isles and Scandinavia. The Great Auk wintered as far south as Florida and southern Spain.

Its extermination began with a slaughter for food and bait by commercial fishers, and continued for the bird's fat and feathers. The Great Auk is now represented only in natural history collections, by bones, skins and eggs.

Great Auks were about 78 cm (30 in.) long. They weighed about 5 kg (11 lb.).


More Images
Photo: Great Auk, Pinguinus impennis.


Looking for photos?

The Canadian Museum of Nature has thousands of unique images reflecting the diversity of the natural world—including the photos and illustrations here in our Natural History NotebooksContact us to learn more!


To cite this page for personal use:
“Great Auk”. [Online]. Natural History Notebooks. Canadian Museum of Nature.
Last updated (Web site consulted

Previous
Button: Mammals. Photo: Lion (Panthera leo). Button: Birds. Photo: Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos).
Button: Fish. Photo: Brown trout (Salmo trutta). Button: Reptiles. Photo: Komodo dragon (Varanus komodensis).
Button: Amphibians. Photo: Bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeiana). Button: Invertebrates. Photo: House fly (Musca domestica).
Button: Dinosaurs. Illustration: Tyrannosaurus rex. Archive slide: S71-116. Button: Prehistoric. Illustration: Muskox (Ovibos moschatus).
Button: Navigate the World. Illustration: Map of the world.
 
Text: Play the games and interactives from our Bird Gallery. Logo: Bird Gallery.

Reproduction Rights    Credits    Explore Nature!    Comments or Questions?

Next Previous Next Previous