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Aves - Neognathae - Charadriiformes - Alcidae - Alle - Alle alle

Sternum (Breast Bone) of a Alle alle (Little Auk)


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Species Description
The Little Auk, or Dovekie, is one of the smallest species of seabird in the world. It is a northern hemisphere bird, breeding on North Atlantic islands (such as Greenland and Iceland), while wintering on the open sea south to the Gulf Stream. It has a short, round body with a sparrow-like beak, and its small wings, though well adapted for wing-propelled swimming, result in a whirring flight. The Dovekie eats a variety of marine invertebrates, including crustaceans, annelids, and mollusks; its primary source of food is copepods, which are small, planktonic animals. It forages for food on the open water, and its enhanced ability to store oxygen in its bones allows the Dovekie to make extended dives to collect its prey. The Dovekie is a highly social bird, forming large colonies that can contain several million members. The birds also congregate at breeding sites, usually along coastal cliffs, where males may signal their choice of nest site by dropping a pebble onto the space from the air.
Skeletal Elements Available

Sternum (Breast Bone)

Mandible (Jawbone )
External Links
Animal Diversity Web
Encyclopedia of Life
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