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The Spiteful End of the Great Auk

The Spiteful End of the Great Auk

By Karl Smallwood

However, perhaps no creature was wiped from the face of the planet for as silly a reason as the great auk. Once endemic to the North Atlantic, the great auk was a flightless seabird not too dissimilar in appearance from a penguin. This, in turn, caused sailors to hunt the few remaining great auks in existence with a renewed zeal. The sailors, under orders from a merchant who wanted a pair of great auk pelts for display, found the birds nesting on a rock. Then, for no particular reason other than “screw the great auk” we guess, Ketilsson then stomped the birds’ nest a few times to destroy the egg they’d been incubating.