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New finds, sites and radiocarbon dates of skeletal remains of the great auk Pinguinus impennis from the Netherlands
Langeveld, B. (2020). New finds, sites and radiocarbon dates of skeletal remains of the great auk Pinguinus impennis from the Netherlands. Ardea 108(1): 5-19.
In: Ardea. Nederlandse Ornithologische Unie: Arnhem & Leiden. ISSN 0373-2266; e-ISSN 2213-1175, meer
Peer reviewed article  

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    Pinguinus impennis (Linnaeus, 1758) [WoRMS]

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  • Langeveld, B.

    The Great Auk Pinguinus impennis was a large, flightless alcid, endemic to the North Atlantic Ocean. It became extinct around 1844. Skeletal remains are used to document its (pre-)historic range. While these remains were considered rare from the southern North Sea, over the past five years 91 (sub-)fossil specimens have been recovered by citizen scientist fossil collectors from Dutch beaches that were nourished with sediments dredged from the bottom of the North Sea. Some of this material is now stored in museum collections. This paper lists the new remains and documents them through measurements and photographs. The material was recovered from fourteen new localities and one previously known locality in The Netherlands and has yielded four radiocarbon dates (1425–1300 BC till beyond 48,000 cal BP) which significantly increase the Great Auk's temporal range in this area. The sheer volume of remains alters our image of the Great Auk in the southern part of the North Sea from a rare bird to most likely a common or regular wintering bird over the past millennia.

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