1852 Extinct Great Auk flightless bird

1852 Extinct Great Auk flightless bird

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Credit: PAUL D STEWART/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Great Auk (Pinguinus impennis) from the Rev. Francis Orpen Morris' "A History of British Birds" by the printer Benjamin Fawcett circa 1853. Morris was instrumental in founding the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. The Great Auk was last sighted in 1852 on the Grand Banks of Newfoundland and became extinct shortly therafter. The Birds were victims of over-hunting for food and bait. Their terminal decline may have even resulted from collecting for museums and taxidermist collections. The birds popular name gave rise to the name Penguin for the physically similar but unrelated penguins of the Antarctic.

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Keywords: arctic, auk, bird, colour, endangered, engraving, extinct, flightless, great, great auk, impennis, newfoundland, pinguinus, rare, rev. francis morris, rspb, species, threatened

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