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Great Auk Egg Models

early 20th Century

Three models of eggs of the Great Auk (Pinguinus impennis), now extinct.

This bird was native to a narrow range of islands near the Arctic circle.

The Great Auk, also known as garefowl and ‘the penguin of the north’ became extinct as a result of being hunted for meat, oil, feathers and their eggs. Despite their agility in the water, they were an easy prey due to being a flightless and their slow movement on land. The last pair were killed for food in 1844.

The Great Auk along with the Dodo became famous because of their extinction. Stuffed Great Auks and their eggs (and fakes of both) sold for high sums.

Part of the Fred Taylor Egg Collection.