Quiz about The Great Auk
Quiz about The Great Auk

The Great Auk Trivia Quiz


The great auk was a bird which was hunted to extinction by the middle of the nineteenth century. Please take this quiz about the great auk. Good luck.

A multiple-choice quiz by mrgrouchy. Estimated time: 4 mins.
  1. Home
  2. »
  3. Quizzes
  4. »
  5. Animal Trivia
  6. »
  7. Wild Birds
  8. »
  9. Specific Bird Species

Author
mrgrouchy
Time
4 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
311,379
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
7 / 10
Plays
485
Awards
Top 35% Quiz
Last 3 plays: Guest 65 (4/10), Guest 76 (6/10), gibbysgab (5/10).
This quiz has 2 formats: you can play it as a or as shown below.
Scroll down to the bottom for the answer key.
1. Which of these present-day animals did the great auk most closely resemble? Hint

sparrow
penguin
eagle
crow

2. The great auk was called "geirfugl" by Norse sailors. To which part of the auk's body does this word refer? Hint

its feet
its beak
its feathers
its belly

3. Which famous Swedish naturalist included the great auk in his eighteenth century work entitled "Systema Naturae"? Hint

Linnaeus
Virchow
Darwin
Van Leeuwenhoek

4. What did great auks occasionally do during the cold winter months in the Northern Hemisphere? Hint

They migrated to areas of warm water.
They swam ashore to Iceland.
They remained in the North Atlantic Ocean.
They hibernated in Scotland and Ireland.

5. Which one of these statements about great auks is true? Hint

They were terrified of humans.
They were awkward swimmers.
They were extremely clumsy on land.
They had many natural predators.

6. Great auks spent most of their lives at sea. However, why did they come ashore for two months every year? Hint

to rest
to lay eggs
to hunt for food
to search for fresh water

7. In 1794, which northern city's officials passed a law banning the killing of great auks? Hint

London
Madrid
Paris
Rome

8. By 1830, museum curators in Europe realized that great auks were rapidly becoming extinct. What were these frantic directors particularly interested in obtaining? Hint

great auk portraits
great auk beaks
great auk webbed feet
great auk eggs

9. Around 1850, the last living great auk was spotted on the Grand Banks of which Canadian province? Hint

Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia
Prince Edward Island
New Brunswick

10. A stuffed great auk appears in the 1951 opera "The Rake's Progress." Which Russian composer, with the first name of Igor, composed this opera? Hint

Tchaikovsky
Rimsky-Korsakov
Mussorgsky
Stravinsky


(Optional) Create a Free FunTrivia ID to save the points you are about to earn:

arrow Select a User ID:
arrow Choose a Password:
arrow Your Email:




Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Which of these present-day animals did the great auk most closely resemble?

Answer: penguin

The great auk was a flightless bird which lived in the waters of the North Atlantic Ocean on the coasts of North America and northern Europe. Although it resembled the modern-day penguin, the two species are not related. The great auk stood about 30 inches (80 cm) tall and weighed about 11 pounds (5 kg). Its belly was white, its backside was black, and its eyes were hazel.
2. The great auk was called "geirfugl" by Norse sailors. To which part of the auk's body does this word refer?

Answer: its beak

The most distinctive feature of the great auk was its curved beak. The Icelandic word "geirfugl" ("garefowl" in English) roughly translates to "spear-billed bird." The beak had deep grooves and was perfect for eating fish. The great auk's bill was apparently razor-sharp, according to sailors' reports.
3. Which famous Swedish naturalist included the great auk in his eighteenth century work entitled "Systema Naturae"?

Answer: Linnaeus

The Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778) described the great auk in his noteworthy "Systema Naturae", published around 1740. In this landmark work of animal and plant classification, Linnaeus labeled the great auk as "Pinnguinus impennis"- a flightless, fat bird. Antony Van Leeuwenhoek (1632-1723) was a Dutch scientist who worked with microbiology. Charles Darwin (1809-1882) was a British naturalist who developed the "natural selection" theory. Rudolf Virchow (1821-1902) was a German scientist who studied diseases.
4. What did great auks occasionally do during the cold winter months in the Northern Hemisphere?

Answer: They migrated to areas of warm water.

It appears that great auks sometimes migrated to warm waters in winter months. Skeletons of the bird have been found as far south as Florida and as far east as Italy- suggesting that great auks felt more comfortable in mild temperatures than in frigid arctic water.
5. Which one of these statements about great auks is true?

Answer: They were extremely clumsy on land.

Great auks were superb swimmers and divers with very few natural predators. However, they were extremely clumsy on land. Their chubby bodies waddled along the shore, and they were unable to move very quickly. Alas, great auks did not seem to fear humans and thus became vulnerable targets for hunters.
6. Great auks spent most of their lives at sea. However, why did they come ashore for two months every year?

Answer: to lay eggs

Great auks lived approximately ten months of each year in the water, where they were relatively safe. However, in May and June of each year great auks had to come ashore to mate and then lay eggs. Both female and male auks participated in the incubation of the eggs.

After the babies were born, both parents continued to nurture the chicks for about three weeks. Human hunters often plundered the eggs and then slaughtered the parent birds in order to get their feathers.
7. In 1794, which northern city's officials passed a law banning the killing of great auks?

Answer: London

Great auks were killed in large numbers during the eighteenth century because their down feathers were highly desirable for pillows and fashion. Some English naturalists, alarmed at the rapid decrease in the great auk's population, urged London city officials to protect the birds.

In 1794, a law was enacted in which killing great auks was prohibited. However, by that time most auks had already been slaughtered.
8. By 1830, museum curators in Europe realized that great auks were rapidly becoming extinct. What were these frantic directors particularly interested in obtaining?

Answer: great auk eggs

Great auk eggs were yellowish white to light brown in color and shaped like pears. These eggs were considered extremely beautiful; thus, museum directors paid hunters large sums of money to obtain them. As great auks had virtually become extinct by 1830, curators became desperate in their efforts to secure both great auk bodies and eggs. Very few people thought about protecting the few remaining birds- a great auk was more valuable dead than alive.
9. Around 1850, the last living great auk was spotted on the Grand Banks of which Canadian province?

Answer: Newfoundland and Labrador

The location of the last living great auk has long been a subject for debate. Some scientists claim that the last living great auks were killed on Eldey Island near Iceland in 1844. However, the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources officially recognizes the sighting of a great auk near the Canadian coast in 1852.

The Grand Banks of Newfoundland and Labrador are one of the richest fishing spots in the world- a perfect mix of the cold Labrador current and the warm water of the Gulf Stream current.
10. A stuffed great auk appears in the 1951 opera "The Rake's Progress." Which Russian composer, with the first name of Igor, composed this opera?

Answer: Stravinsky

Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971) composed the opera "The Rake's Progress" in 1951. One of the main characters in the play is Baba the Turk, a bearded lady in a circus. One of Baba's possessions is a great auk, presumably stuffed. Rimsky-Korsakov's first name was Nikolai; Pyotr Tchaikovsky and Modest Mussorgsky were also Russian composers.
Source: Author mrgrouchy

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor crisw before going online.
Any errors found in FunTrivia content are routinely corrected through our feedback system.
Most Recent Scores
Jan 10 2023 : Guest 65: 4/10
Dec 24 2022 : Guest 76: 6/10
Dec 18 2022 : gibbysgab: 5/10
Dec 13 2022 : Andyboy2021: 10/10

Score Distribution

quiz
2/6/2023, Copyright 2023 FunTrivia, Inc. - Report an Error / Contact Us