Becoming extinct is not the prerogative of animals alone. Birds too have their share of extinct species. The Great Auk is one such example of a bird becoming extinct. The Great Auk, a flightless bird became extinct in the mid 19th century. This was the last surviving species in the genus Pinguinus. It used to breed on the rocky isolated islands very close to the Ocean. These birds were said to great swimmers. When not involved in breeding these bids used to swim in the North Atlantic around the coast of Canada, Greenland and even Great Britain.
These birds were extremely tall growing up to 85 cms tall and weighed around 5 kgs. I had a black back and a white belly, very much like the penguins of today. They had a prominent black beak which had grooves on it. Their wings were only 15 cms long which made them very weak for flying and hence the birds were rendered flightless. However they were very strong swimmers which enabled them to catch their prey which comprised of fish. Compared to their extreme agility in water they were very clumsy on land. The birds used to mate for life and laid only one egg which used to be white with shades of brown in between. The incubation period used to be around six weeks after which the young ones used to leave their parents and go out on their own.
The Great Auk was part of many North American cultures. People used to be buried with the auk bones and beaks. The auk was a source of food for the European explorers to America who started hunting them down and their numbers started dwindling tremendously fast. The last known pair of auks were killed on 3rd July 1844 at Eldey, off the coast of Ireland.