John T. Willis

Monday, December 28, 2009


The auk is a bird of the Alcidae family and the Charadriiformes order. It is similar to penguins because of its black and white colors with upright postures and similar habits to penguins. But in reality it is not closely related to penguins, but an example of moderate convergent evolution.

In contrast to penguins, the auk can fly [except for the recently extinct Great Auk). it is a good swimmer and diver, but its walk seems clumsy. The auk has short wings, so it has to flap its wings very quickly in order to fly. The Least Auklet is 6 inches long and weighs 3 ounces, but the Thick-billed Murre is 18 inches long and weighs 2 and a fourth pounds.

The auk lives on the open sea and goes ashore only for breeding. Some species, like the Common Guillemot, spend a great part of the year defending their nesting spot from others. Some species, like the Uria guillemots, nest in large colonies on cliff edges. Cepphus guillemots breed in small groups on rocky coasts. Puffins, auklets, and some murrelets nest in burrows. All species except the Brachyramphus murrelets are colonial.

The auk is a wing-propelled pursuit diver. Its prey is schools of fish swimming a little beneath the water. The earliest unequivocal fossils of auks are from the Miocene, found in California and Maryland and the Miocene Pacific. The extant auks are broken into two main groups: the usually high-billed puffins and auklets, as opposed to the more slender-billed murres and true auks, and the murrelets and guillemots. Razorbills are tue auks only found in the Atlantic Ocean.

The auk is another example of God's creativity and wonders. The auk is unique. YOU are unique. God creates everything and everyone for a purpose. What is YOUR purpose? How does God want to use YOU for his purposes? Share YOUR thoughts with others. Let me hear from YOU.

John Willis


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