If the auk could talk it probably wouldn't bother to comment on this slim (25-paragraph) chronicle of the demise of its docile ancestor the Great Auk, once a plentiful food source along the coasts of Western Europe, Greenland, Iceland, and eastern North America. Mass slaughter beginning in the 16th century killed off the Great Auk by the mid-1800s, and so it went--the way of the. . . Dodo and. . . Passenger Pigeon, whose extinction the Gordons have traced in previous volumes.