The great auk (Pinguinus impennis, formerly Alca impennis), a flightless bird of the north Atlantic, became extinct in the mid-1850s because of over-hunting - apart from being used as a food source and as fish-bait, its down was used for feather beds, and efforts in the early nineteenth century to reduce the slaughter were not effective. The last breeding pair was killed in 1844. This 1885 work by Scottish naturalist and scientist Symington Grieve (1850–1932) collects together 'a considerable amount of literature bearing upon the 'History, Archaeology, and Remains' of this extinct bird'. The material includes articles on the historic distribution of the great auk, its known habits, its various names, and information on all the surviving specimens, whether stuffed, skeletal, bones, or eggs. The book is illustrated with drawings and lithographs of auk remains, and an appendix supplies historical and contemporary documents on the auk from all over Europe.
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- Date Published: March 2015
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9781108081474
- length: 226 pages
- dimensions: 244 x 170 x 12 mm
- weight: 0.37kg
- contains: 8 b/w illus. 2 colour illus. 1 map
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
2. The distribution of the great auk
3. The living great auk in its European habitats
4. The remains of the great auk
5. The remains of the great auk in Denmark and Iceland
6. British remains of the great auk
7. British remains of the great auk (cont.)
8. How was Caisteal-nan-Gillean formed
9. English remains of the great auk
10. The habits of the garefowl, and the region it lived in
11. Information regarding existing remains of the great auk
12. The uses to which the great auk was put by man
13. The names by which the great auk has been known
14. The period during which the great auk lived
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