July 3, 1844: Last pair of Great Auks killed. Although individual auks were seen after that, there were no more breeding pairs left, and the birds became extinct. They had been hunted by humans for over 100,000 years, but it wasn't until Europeans developed a taste for auk down comforters that the creature was really in trouble. This painting by John James Audubon shows the Great Auk in its summer plumage.

Great auk: Great auk, (Pinguinus impennis), flightless seabird extinct since Great auks belonged to the family Alcidae (order Charadriiformes). They bred in colonies on rocky

Before conservation, mankind waged wanton destruction on countless species for food and materials. One of the most tragic was the Great Auk, which lived in the North Atlantic between Canada and Scotland. Humans slaughtered the birds for their meat and eggs. As the population shrank, museums added to the trouble by putting bounties on specimens, dead or alive. The last living specimens, a male and female incubating a single egg, were killed July 3, 1844 on the coast of Iceland.

How much do you know about the Great Auk, the penguin-like bird that went extinct in the century? Here are 10 essential Great Auk facts.

The Great Auk (Pinguinus impennis) was a large, flightless bird of the alcid family that became extinct in the mid-19th century

The Great Auk (Pinguinus impennis) was a large, flightless bird of the alcid family that became extinct in the century

In 1844, the last Great Auk, a relative of puffins and razorbills, was killed on an island off the coast of Iceland.

On this day in the last Great Auk, a relative of puffins and razorbills, was killed on an island off the coast of Iceland. The Great Auk was a flightless bird, measuring between 30 and 33 inches high with wings of only 6 inches in length.

Great Auk (Pinguinus impennis)

A Great Auk specimen in the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences

Amazing Extinct Animals 8 Great Auk 1852

Extinct: Great Auk: These auks were flightless penguins from the Atlantic. They were one of the largest auks standing about inches high. They had white and glossy black feathers, and were once seen in huge numbers in the northern frigid areas.

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The Museum’s 80 million specimens form the world’s most important natural history collection.

Great Auk: largest of all auks (extinct since 1844) [Wiki]  The Great Auk was the only species in the genus Pinguinus, flightless giant auks from the Atlantic, to survive until recent times, but is extinct today.      Standing about 75 centimetres or 30-34 inches high and weighing around 5 kg, the flightless Great Auk was the largest of the auks.

10 Most Amazing Extinct Animals

Great Auk: largest of all auks (extinct since Extinct Animals: 10 Most Amazing Extinct Animals - ODDEE

Extinct Birds  Great Auk  Pin by LilaRubyKingShop on Etsy, $19.00

Items similar to Extinct Birds - Great Auk - Pin on Etsy

Great Auk, North Atlantic. Extinct since 1844.

Great auk, Extinct Birds: An attempt to unite in one volume a short account of those birds which have become extinct in historical times, Lionel Walter Rothschild,

Great Auk -extinct /The effort to wipe the birds out was so systematic that the killing of the last known pair was documented in gruesome detail. On July 3rd, 1844, a hunter named Sigurður Ísleifsson had strangled the last two adults, while his partner Ketill Ketilsson smashed the egg the birds had been incubating with his boot.  Read more: http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/animals/photos/13-animals-hunted-to-extinction/great-auk#ixzz3CsDn5SpW

13 animals hunted to extinction

Once estimated to number in the millions, these huge flightless waterbirds were hunted to extinction by the As their numbers dwindled, the

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