a name provided to numerous species of arctic ocean wild birds associated with family members Alcidaelig the fantastic auk now extinct is Alca impennis or Plautus impennis The razor billed auk is Alca torda See Puffin Guillemot and Murre
- black-and-white short-necked web-footed diving bird of northern seas
- A name given to numerous types of arctic water wild birds for the household Alcidae. The great auk, now extinct, is Alca (/ Plautus) impennis. The razor-billed auk is A. torda. See Puffin, Guillemot, and Murre.
1670s, from a Scandinavian origin such as for instance Old Norse alka, probably originally imitative of a water-bird cry (compare Latin olor "swan," Greek elea "marsh bird").
Kitchen-middens of England, Ireland and Denmark reveal the existence of the capercally, Tetrao urogallus, and of the great auk or gare-fowl, Alca impennis; both species long since vanished from those countries.