Who Killed the Great Auk?
The Great Auk is one of the world's most famous extinct birds. This curious seabird was flightless, stood upright like a human, and sported an enormous beak. In this fascinating book, Jeremy A. Gaskell takes the reader on a tour of some of the wildest and coldest places on earth as he tries to uncover the facts behind its disappearance. Eyewitness accounts of the Great Auk spanning four centuries tell how it was hunted by sailors, coastal dwellers, and merchants for its ample flesh, its eggs, and its soft down. Gaskell shows how its fate was inextricably bound up with the prevailing social, economic, and political conditions of the late 18th century, and was also a result of widespread scientific misapprehensions. Many of the leading natural historians of the day took an active interest in the Great Auk and its disappearance, and the predicament of the Great Auk was partly responsible for the institution of the first seabird protection laws. Sadly, attempts to save it were in vain. This book tells why.
©WildSounds 2009. No portion of this page (including sounds, images, style-sheets and code) may be copied or used without the express permission of WildSounds.