Great Auk

From Academic Kids

(Redirected from Pinguinus)
Great Auk
Conservation status: Extinct (1844)
image:Greatauk.JPG
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Charadriiformes
Family:Alcidae
Genus:Pinguinus
Species:impennis
Binomial name
Pinguinus impennis
(Linnaeus, 1758)

At 75 centimetres or 30 inches, the flightless Great Auk (Pinguinus impennis) was the largest of the auks. It was hunted for food and down for mattresses from at least the 8th century. It is classified as the only species in the genus Pinguinus.

The Great Auk was once to be found in great numbers on islands off eastern Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Ireland and Britain, but it was eventually hunted to extinction. The last pair was killed July 3 1844, on the island of Eldey off Iceland, though a later sighting was claimed of a live individual in 1852 off the Newfoundland Banks in Canada.

They were excellent swimmers, using their wings to swim underwater. Unlike other auks, however, the Great Auk could not fly, which is what made it so vulnerable to humans. The Great Auk laid only one egg each year.

One theory connects the Great Auk with the origin of the word penguin, which may have come from the Welsh phrase pen gwyn, meaning "white head", referring originally to the Great Auk. (Although the head of the Great Auk is not in fact white, there is a white patch behind the beak.) Later, when explorers discovered apparently similar birds in the southern hemisphere, what we now call penguins, the term was supposedly transferred to them. An alternative theory, suggested by John Latham in 1785, claims that the word penguin comes from the Latin pinguis meaning "fat", referring to the plump appearance of the bird.

See also

External links

de:Riesenalk eo:Granda aŭko fr:Grand Pingouin he:אלקה גדולה nl:Reuzenalk ja:オオウミガラス pl:Alka olbrzymia sl:velika njorka fi:Siivetn ruokki sv:Garfgel

Navigation

Academic Kids Menu

  • Art and Cultures
    • Art (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Art)
    • Architecture (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Architecture)
    • Cultures (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Cultures)
    • Music (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Music)
    • Musical Instruments (http://academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/List_of_musical_instruments)
  • Biographies (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Biographies)
  • Clipart (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Clipart)
  • Geography (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Geography)
    • Countries of the World (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Countries)
    • Maps (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Maps)
    • Flags (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Flags)
    • Continents (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Continents)
  • History (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/History)
    • Ancient Civilizations (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Ancient_Civilizations)
    • Industrial Revolution (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Industrial_Revolution)
    • Middle Ages (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Middle_Ages)
    • Prehistory (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Prehistory)
    • Renaissance (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Renaissance)
    • Timelines (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Timelines)
    • United States (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/United_States)
    • Wars (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Wars)
    • World History (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/History_of_the_world)
  • Human Body (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Human_Body)
  • Mathematics (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Mathematics)
  • Reference (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Reference)
  • Science (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Science)
    • Animals (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Animals)
    • Aviation (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Aviation)
    • Dinosaurs (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Dinosaurs)
    • Earth (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Earth)
    • Inventions (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Inventions)
    • Physical Science (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Physical_Science)
    • Plants (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Plants)
    • Scientists (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Scientists)
  • Social Studies (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Social_Studies)
    • Anthropology (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Anthropology)
    • Economics (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Economics)
    • Government (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Government)
    • Religion (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Religion)
    • Holidays (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Holidays)
  • Space and Astronomy
    • Solar System (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Solar_System)
    • Planets (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Planets)
  • Sports (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Sports)
  • Timelines (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Timelines)
  • Weather (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Weather)
  • US States (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/US_States)

Information

  • Home Page (http://academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php)
  • Contact Us (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Contactus)

  • Clip Art (http://classroomclipart.com)
Toolbox
Personal tools