1776 Pennant swimming extinct great auk

1776 Pennant swimming extinct great auk

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Credit: PAUL D STEWART/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Great Auk Plate from the welsh naturalist Thomas Pennant's book "British Zoology". It was Pennant himself who gave the bird the name Great Auk by which it is now known. Before that penguin was more common - a name later given to the physically similar but not closely related birds of the antarctic. 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.

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Keywords: arctic, auk, bird, colour, endangered, engraving, extinct, flightless, great, great auk, illustration, impennis, naturalist, newfoundland, pennant, pingouin, pinguinus, rare, rspb, species, thomas, threatened, welsh

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