A large, extinct, flightless auk (seabird) of the North Atlantic, resembling a giant razorbill. The great auk was the original “penguin”; many were taken for food, and the last individuals were killed on an islet off Iceland in 1844.
- Alca (or Pinguinus) impennis, family Alcidae.
- Some have become extinct, the great auk, the passenger pigeon and the famous dodo bird have all disappeared.
- Apart from the globally-extinct great auk, the bustard is the only bird known to have bred in Britain that hasn't done so in recent times.
- In the early 19th century another alcid, the great auk, still inhabited the North Atlantic waters.
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