Lost Forever/Animals We’ll Never See Again: Great Auk


The Great Auk (Pinguinis impennis) was a large, flightless bird that went extinct in 1844 when the last known specimens were killed on the 3rd July at Eldey Island, Iceland. The nearest living relative of the Great Auk is the Razorbill.


Historically, the Great Auk only bred on remote, rocky islands. Young birds fed on plankton, while the adults dived for fish.


Great Auk Painting.preview.jpgGreat Auks were hunted for their feathers, meat, fat and oil. As the birds became more scarce, early conservations believed that the collecting of specimens was necessary to help save the species. Unfortunately, this specimen collecting was what lead to the ultimate demise of the Great Auk.

In remembrance of the errors that early conservationists made, the peer reviewed academic journal of the American Ornithologists Union is named the Auk.

Click here for more Animals We’ll Never See Again.


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