|Common Name:||Great Auk|
|Scientific Name:||Pinguinus impennis|
|French Name:||Grand Pingouin|
The Great Auk (Pinguinus impennis, formerly Alca impennis, Norn garfogl) is an extinct flightless bird that was to be found in the North Atlantic. Populations persisted in Norway, St Kilda and Iceland later than elsewhere, but it was killed earlier on in other parts of the region. The last pair in Shetland was killed in 1812. Others lasted in St Kilda until the 1820s, and Iceland in the 1840s.
Remains of the Great Auk have been found in archaeological sites around Shetland.<ref>http://www.shetlandtimes.co.uk/2011/04/03/tourism-memorable-moments</ref><ref>http://antiquity.ac.uk/projgall/nicholson/</ref>
As can be seen from the Latin and the French names "pinguinis" and "pingouin", it was somewhat similar to the penguin in appearance and behaviour. It was a good example of convergent or parallel evolution, since the auk family and penguins are unrelated.
A recent April Fool stated that cloned Great Auks were to be released on Fair Isle in Jurassic Park fashion.