What kind of animal is a large auk? Explanation of characteristics, ecology, habitat, and reasons for extinction Arctic penguins


What kind of animal is a large auk? This is a member of the murrelet family, and we will explain its total body length, weight, distribution in the North Atlantic, characteristics, ecology, habitat, and reasons for extinction. Penguins only live in the Antarctic, but they used to live in the North Pole as well. That is the auk. It can be said that it is the only penguin that lives in the Arctic, but it is actually extinct.

What is a Great Auk? About basic status

The great auk is a type of seabird that is classified as a bird in the order Ploveri and the family Murredae. Its scientific name is Pinguinus impennis, which means penguin. It was a large seabird with a total length of about 80 cm and a weight of 5 kg, and its wings had degenerated and it was unable to fly.

English(英名)Great Auk
scientific name(学名)Pinguinus impennis
classification(分類)Aves、 Charadriiformes、Alcidae、Pinguinus
IUCN Status(保全状況)EXTINCT

About the habitat of the Great Auk

Great auks lived mainly in the North Atlantic Ocean, from Newfoundland to Greenland, Iceland, Ireland, England, the Scandinavian Peninsula, and other parts of the Arctic Circle in Europe.

feature is? What kind of creature is it?

The great murre was by far the largest species among the murrelets. The feathers on the belly are white, and the feathers on the head and back are glossy black. Its wings were short and degenerated, making it a flightless bird. It is said that on land, they lived exactly the same way as penguins, who waddled upright. They lived in groups and formed colonies.

What is your personality like?

The great auk is a very friendly bird, and is said to be a very gentle bird that does not become alarmed when humans approach. However, this character resulted in tragedy in the future. I will explain it below.

What is the ecology of the Great Auk?

Great auks like to eat fish and squid, and they especially liked sand eels. Breeding takes place around June, with the male and female taking turns incubating the eggs. It takes about a month for the eggs to hatch. Their lifespan is said to be about the same as that of modern penguins. Great auks reach sexual maturity between the ages of 4 and 7.

Why did the Great Auk become extinct?

Why did the once-existing great auk become extinct? The conclusion is that humans caused their extinction. I will explain the detailed history and information. There was a time when many of the breeding colonies were preyed upon by polar bears, but that was a temporary factor in the decline. Humans dealt the deadliest blow.

The extinction of penguins in Europe

The existence of the Great Auk was already recognized by Europeans in the Middle Ages. Europeans noticed the feathers of the aukine. It became known when French explorer Jacques Cartier landed on Newfoundland in 1534, and the feathers used to make pillows were needed, and auks were hunted. As a result, colonies on the European continent became extinct. In 1794, Britain banned the killing of this species for its feathers, but it was too late.

Overfishing begins on the North American side as well.

The existence of the Great Auk is also becoming known in areas of North America. In the 1770s, when woolly ducks were driven to the brink of extinction, North Americans began overhunting them for food. Overfishing continued until the only remaining species existed on a small island off the coast of Iceland called Murre Reef. Because the island was surrounded by cliffs, they were able to breed without people noticing, but tragedy struck to make matters worse.

Eruption and extinction of submarine volcanoes

The last great auk breeding grounds were submerged by underwater volcanic eruptions and earthquakes. However, in 1844, Europeans killed Erdei’s last surviving pairs of great murres and their eggs, making them extinct. Since then, penguins are now only distributed in the southern hemisphere. Discussions are currently underway about the possibility of reviving the great aukine using DNA from specimens collected in museums.


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