Thursday, March 13, 2014

Rhinoceros Auklet

Cerorhinca monocerata
Meet the Rhinoceros Auklet, a seabird that is a close relative to the more well-known Puffins. Like Puffins, they live in cold arctic areas-- specifically the northern Pacific Ocean.

One curious feature of these birds is the horn on their beaks. Both males and females have it, but no one really knows what its purpose is! Decoration? Protection? Attracting a mate? Either way, it has given them their Rhinoceros name!

Another cool fact about these birds is that they can dive down quite far in search of food. Dives of 150-180 feet have been observed! They catch fish, krill, and squid, but always wait until nightfall to take food back to their nests. The reason for this is that other, larger seabirds will try and steal their prey. Flying home with food at night helps them keep more of their hard-earned food.

IUCN Status : Least Concern
Location : North Pacific
Size : Length up to 11in (27cm)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Aves -- Order : Charadriiformes
Family : Alcidae -- Genus : Cerorhinca -- Species : C. monocerata
Image :  Tokumi

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