A new species of large auk from the Pliocene of Belgium

Martin, J.W.R., Walker, C.A., Bonser, R. and Dyke, Gareth J. (2000) A new species of large auk from the Pliocene of Belgium. Oryctos, 3, 53-60.


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A new species of fossil auk, Alca stewarti from the Kattendijk Sands Formation (early Pliocene) of Belgium is described. Preserved elements of this new species include humeri and ulnae, all of which are longer than those of the largest auk currently known, the recently extinct Great Auk (Pinguinus impennis). The relative proportions and structure of these wing elements, together with our estimates of body mass and wing loading suggest that this new species was capable of flapping flight. We consider the biomechanical implications for a large flighted auk, and speculate on the lifestyle and appearance of this new species. We also estimate the likely flight speed and flapping frequency of Alca stewarti.

Item Type: Article
ISSNs: 1290-4805 (print)
Related URLs:
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history
Divisions : Faculty of Natural and Environmental Sciences > Ocean and Earth Science > Ocean Biochemistry & Ecosystems
ePrint ID: 205319
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
Date Deposited: 08 Dec 2011 14:55
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 13:47
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/205319

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