The great auk and the gannet: A prehistoric perspective on the extinction of the great auk

  • Serjeantson D
  • 43


    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 16


    Citations of this article.


Archaeological finds of the great auk, Alca impennis, and the northern gannet, Sula bassana, from prehistoric and historic coastal sites around the British Isles show the earlier distribution of these birds. They suggest that the great auk bred more widely in the eastern Atlantic than on the few breeding sites which are attested historically. Comparison between the two species suggests that the method of exploitation as well as the biology and behaviour of each contributed to the extinction of the former and the survival of the latter.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Alca impennis
  • Bird bones
  • Britain
  • Common pool resources
  • Extinction
  • Great auk
  • Northern gannet
  • Seabird fowling
  • Sula bassana

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document


  • Dale Serjeantson

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free