from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Any of several diving sea birds (family Alcidae) of northern regions, such as the razor-billed auk, having a chunky body, short wings, and webbed feet.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. Any of several species of Arctic sea birds of the family Alcidae.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A name given to various species of arctic sea birds of the family Alcidæ. The great auk, now extinct, is Alca impennis (or Plautus impennis) . The razor-billed auk is Alca torda. See puffin, guillemot, and murre.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A diving bird belonging to the family Alcidæ and the order Pygopodes, characterized by having 3 toes, webbed feet, and short wings and tail.
- Same as awk.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. black-and-white short-necked web-footed diving bird of northern seas
On my way out, I take a few pictures of a great auk skeleton on a stand.
With huge 200,000-strong colonies of little auk thronging the cliffs and shores, kittiwakes next to the cobalt blue glaciers, walrus wallowing in the shallows, Arctic foxes, whales and, of course, one of the ultimate wildlife sightings, the mighty polar bear, frequently seen hunting in its frosty backyard on ice floes.
Decades before the Civil War astute observers noticed a decline in bison numbers and predicted that, like the great auk, the shaggy beasts would ultimately disappear.
Can genetic engineers do the same for the great auk?
The last European breeding bird to die out altogether was the great auk—an island species—in the 1840s.
Birdlife supporter Atwood - author of the Handmaid's Tale, Oryx and Crake and the Blind Assassin - will speak at the exhibition as well as submitting a knitted great auk.
Like Monty Python's infamous dead parrot, the great auk that author Margaret Atwood is knitting probably shuffled off his mortal coil, ran down the curtain and joined the choir invisible 150 years ago.
As most news articles about the potential sale pointed out, studios are going the way of the great auk.
Many of us at the aquarium engaged in lively exchanges with visitors who insisted they saw penguins in Alaska or other locations in the Northern Hemisphere, but they likely saw razorbills, murres, puffins, guillemots, or other birds in the auk family.
At least one species, the great auk (Pinguinus impennis), is now extinct because of overexploitation.