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

The Great Auk (Pinguinus impennis) was a large, flightless bird of the alcid family that became extinct in the mid-19th century. It was the only modern species in the genus Pinguinus, a group of birds that formerly included one other species of flightless giant auk from the Atlantic Ocean region.

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

A summer Great Auk is stuffed and placed upon a wooden block, looking right.

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.

A large, triangular rock rises from the misty waters, with more islands behind and northern gannets flying around it.

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.

Great auk

The birds we've lost: 10 incredible avian species that are gone forever

From the passenger pigeon to the laughing owl, here is but a small sampling of the mighty birds that are now extinct.

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: 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

On this day in 1844, the last Great Auk, a relative of puffins and razorbills, was killed on an island off the coast of Iceland. Humans hunted the Great Auk for over 100,000 years. With few natural predators, the Auk had no innate fear of people.

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 -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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