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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Charadriiformes
Family: Alcidae
Auks are birds of the family Alcidae in the order Charadriiformes. They are similar to penguins due to their black-and-white colours, their upright posture and some of their habits. Nevertheless they are not related to the penguins at all.

In contrast to penguins, auks are able to fly (with the exception of the Great Auk). They are good swimmers and divers, but their way of walking appears clumsy. Due to their short wingspan auks have to flap their wings very fast in order to fly.

Auks live on the open sea. Only for breeding do they go ashore. Most species breed at steep cliffs, often together with gulls, petrels and gannets.

The Great Auk (Pinguinus impennis) is now extinct.

Species are:

Order: Charadriiformes

  • Suborder: Charadrii: The waders
  • Suborder: Lari. gulls, terns, skuas and skimmers
  • Suborder: Alcae. the auks
    • Family: Alcidae
      • Dovekie or Little Auk[?], Alle alle
      • Common Murre or Common Guillemot[?], Uria aalge
      • Thick-billed Murre or Brunnich's Guillemot[?], Uria lomvia
      • Razorbill[?], Alca torda
      • Black Guillemot[?], Cepphus grylle
      • Pigeon Guillemot, Cepphus columba
      • Spectacled Guillemot, Cepphus carbo
      • Marbled Murrelet, Brachyramphus marmoratus
      • Kittlitz's Murrelet, Brachyramphus brevirostris
      • Xantus's Murrelet, Synthliboramphus hypoleucus
      • Craveri's Murrelet, Synthliboramphus craveri
      • Ancient Murrelet, Synthliboramphus antiquus
      • Japanese Murrelet, Synthliboramphus wumizusume
      • Cassin's Auklet, Ptychoramphus aleuticus
      • Parakeet Auklet, Cyclorrhynchus psittacula
      • Crested Auklet, Aethia cristatella
      • Whiskered Auklet, Aethia pygmaea
      • Least Auklet, Aethia pusilla
      • Rhinoceros Auklet, Cerorhinca monocerata
      • Atlantic Puffin, Fratercula arctica
      • Horned Puffin[?], Fratercula corniculata
      • Tufted Puffin, Fratercula cirrhata

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