July 3, 1844

On July 3, 1844, the last pair of Great Auks were killed. The Great Auk was a large, flightless seabird that lived in the islands of the Northern Atlantic around northern Scotland. Unfortunately for these large, penguinesque birds, they were delicious, easy to hunt, and their feathers and down were extremely profitable. Even though Britain made it illegal to hunt the birds, the penalties were negligible, and the profit off of each bird was equal to the annual salary of a sailor. The birds were doomed. Unlike the Lorax of Dr. Seuss fame, there was no coming back for the Great Auk. The last two nesting pair were killed on July 3, 1844 by three fishermen and one of them even stepped on and crushed the last, delicious egg. To survive in a world dominated by humans, you either have to be cute like puppies and kittens, or horribly nasty and repugnant like cockroaches.

About Joel Byers

Born in North Georgia and educated at some very fine public institutions. Real education started after graduating from college and then getting married and raising two boys. Has the ability to see the funny and absurd in most things and will always remark on it, even if it means getting the stink-eye from his victims.
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