Mystery of the woggin

Discussion in 'Cryptozoology: General' started by lordmongrove, Mar 18, 2017.

  1. lordmongrove

    lordmongrove Justified & Ancient

    Messages:
    1,774
    Likes Received:
    780
    Trophy Points:
    119
    LOCATION:
    Exeter
    WEBSITE:
    www.cfz.org.uk
    What’s A Woggin? A Bird, a Word, and a Linguistic Mystery
    Whalers wrote about woggins all the time. What in the world were they?
    By Cara Giaimo
    OCTOBER 26, 2016

    On December 20, 1792, the whaling ship Asiawas making its way through the Desolation Islands, in the Indian Ocean, when the crew decided to stop for lunch. According to the log keeper, the meal was a great success: “At 1 PM Sent our Boat on Shore After Some refreshments,” he wrote. “She returned with A Plenty of Woggins we Cooked Some for Supper.”

    Right about now, you may be feeling peckish. But you may also be wondering: What in the world is a woggin?

    New species are discovered
    all the time. Unknown old species—extinct ones, found as fossils and then plugged into our historical understanding of the world—turn up a lot, too. But every once in a while, all we have to go on is a word.New or old, known or unknown, no one knew what a woggin was until Judith Lund, whaling historian, decided to find out.

    CONTINUED HERE:
    http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/whats-a-woggin-a-bird-a-word-and-a-linguistic-mystery

    WHAT WAS THE WOGGIN?

    Edited by Yith.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 18, 2017
  2. blessmycottonsocks

    blessmycottonsocks Abominable Snowman

    Messages:
    890
    Likes Received:
    1,135
    Trophy Points:
    134
  3. escargot

    escargot Beloved of Ra

    Messages:
    19,555
    Likes Received:
    8,002
    Trophy Points:
    284
    LOCATION:
    Farkham Hall
    How about something explaining why this might be interesting, instead of just links?
     
  4. Coastaljames

    Coastaljames Justified & Ancient

    Messages:
    2,676
    Likes Received:
    2,707
    Trophy Points:
    113
    It's very interesting...but you do have to make just the tiniest of efforts...;)
     
    Eponastill likes this.
  5. escargot

    escargot Beloved of Ra

    Messages:
    19,555
    Likes Received:
    8,002
    Trophy Points:
    284
    LOCATION:
    Farkham Hall
    I don't go to a link without knowing what it's about. If I post a link I always give a little information first.
     
    Belshazzar likes this.
  6. Yithian

    Yithian Last Man Standing Staff Member

    Messages:
    16,961
    Likes Received:
    9,630
    Trophy Points:
    284
    WEBSITE:
    http://petergreenaway.org.uk/drowning.htm
    I have requested several times previously that an extract be included.
     
  7. Ermintruder

    Ermintruder Existential pixelfixer

    Messages:
    3,736
    Likes Received:
    3,950
    Trophy Points:
    154
    LOCATION:
    Proximate
    I wonder, after reading the fascinating first article...(plot spoiler alert).... might woggins have been northern hemisphere penguins after all?

    My point is, by definition, an already-extinct species is difficult to confirm/deny the existence of.

    If (in the scenario I am thinking of) sailors had, in an undocumented and hungry fashion, already eaten all the putative northern-hemisphere 'woggins' (ie boreal penguins) then the rest of the 'woggins' (ie boreal great auks), how would this not then account for the continued existence to this day of the rest of the 'woggins' (ie antarctic penguins).

    In both a biological and philological sense?
     
    Vardoger and Coastaljames like this.
  8. Coastaljames

    Coastaljames Justified & Ancient

    Messages:
    2,676
    Likes Received:
    2,707
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Interesting- good post.
     
    Ermintruder likes this.
  9. Swifty

    Swifty Beloved of Ra

    Messages:
    15,555
    Likes Received:
    14,641
    Trophy Points:
    254
    I thought Woggin was an Irish radio DJ ..
     
    ramonmercado and Ermintruder like this.
  10. Ermintruder

    Ermintruder Existential pixelfixer

    Messages:
    3,736
    Likes Received:
    3,950
    Trophy Points:
    154
    LOCATION:
    Proximate
    Does what I say make sense, though? Might northern sailors in, say, the 1300s, not have eaten any extant arctic penguins? Followed by the auks?

    Also another very-obvious (to me) correlation: In the arctic there are indigenous people, and no penuins (or auks).

    In the antarctic there are no indigenous people, but plenty of penguins.

    I have met Innuit, in my lifetime (I mean quite westernised car/house/gun Canadian examples of the amazing people that they are) who gave the unsubtle impression that they'd quite cheerfully eat me, let alone penguins and/or auks.
     
    David Plankton and Coastaljames like this.
  11. blessmycottonsocks

    blessmycottonsocks Abominable Snowman

    Messages:
    890
    Likes Received:
    1,135
    Trophy Points:
    134
    I liked this story on so many levels!

    Obviously solving the riddle of what the mysterious woggins/waggins were was what drew me in.

    Then, on doing a little more digging, I found the somewhat Fortean article about de-extincting the great auk (bring it on, please!)

    Finally, etymology of the penguin name was something I wasn't aware of, but turned out to be utterly fascinating.

    Despite the resemblance, great auks were only distantly related to penguins. However, being Northern Hemisphere birds, living even around the British coast, the great auks were known to us long before penguins. One of the immediate distinguishing features of the great auk were the large white marks either side of the head on an otherwise dark bird. The Welsh for white head is pen gwyn and that name, presumably first used to describe the birds living along the Welsh coast ( or possibly further afield but encountered by Welsh whalers) obviously stuck. Now when explorers headed South and encountered what we now call penguins, the similarity to the "pen gwyns" was noticed and the name (with a slight change in spelling) jumped from the extinct to the extant.
     
  12. Ermintruder

    Ermintruder Existential pixelfixer

    Messages:
    3,736
    Likes Received:
    3,950
    Trophy Points:
    154
    LOCATION:
    Proximate
    I'm reluctant. I don't mean in any Jurrasic Park way, I'm thinking more in the practical sense that multiple species will have uptaken their vacant niche (predator/prey, territories, migratory paths).

    How do we have the right to try turning clocks back like this? How can we be so confidently deterministic regarding outcomes?

    We had no collective right to eliminate them: we have no absolute entitlement to recreate them. Mammoths. Dodos. Henry VIII. Time marches on, the present is here and the past has gone (as a good thing or for bad)
     
  13. blessmycottonsocks

    blessmycottonsocks Abominable Snowman

    Messages:
    890
    Likes Received:
    1,135
    Trophy Points:
    134
    "I don't mean in any Jurrasic Park way .... Henry VIII"

    I'd pay to see an extant Tyrant Rex!

    As for the poor old pen gwyn, 150 years is pretty trivial in evolutionary terms and I'm sure Britain's other sea-birds could shuffle up a bit and make room for a long-lost relative.
     
    Coastaljames and Ermintruder like this.
  14. oldrover

    oldrover Justified & Ancient

    Messages:
    3,498
    Likes Received:
    927
    Trophy Points:
    119
    LOCATION:
    Wales
  15. Coastaljames

    Coastaljames Justified & Ancient

    Messages:
    2,676
    Likes Received:
    2,707
    Trophy Points:
    113


    Not often, no.


    :p
     
    David Plankton and Ermintruder like this.
  16. blessmycottonsocks

    blessmycottonsocks Abominable Snowman

    Messages:
    890
    Likes Received:
    1,135
    Trophy Points:
    134
    But it doesn't make sense in an extremely eloquent manner!
     
    Ermintruder likes this.
  17. oldrover

    oldrover Justified & Ancient

    Messages:
    3,498
    Likes Received:
    927
    Trophy Points:
    119
    LOCATION:
    Wales
    By the way, for those who are wondering, woggins* apparently tasted lousy.

    * I have now added that word to my dictionary, I will be using it again.
     
    Ermintruder likes this.
  18. David Plankton

    David Plankton Justified & Ancient

    Messages:
    4,445
    Likes Received:
    4,731
    Trophy Points:
    169
    Would Northern Hemisphere penguins be an example of parallel evolution? They aren't renowned for travelling great distances, after all.
    Or isn't that the niche that the Great Auk was filling?
     
    Ermintruder likes this.
  19. oldrover

    oldrover Justified & Ancient

    Messages:
    3,498
    Likes Received:
    927
    Trophy Points:
    119
    LOCATION:
    Wales
    Yes, but filling it much better. Great Auks were fantastic creatures in the water but absolute crap on land. Their little woggin legs were so far back on their body, their center of balance was awful, and this what did for the poor little sods. They could only nest in locations they could walk to on the flat. They couldn't climb, fly, or even scramble, and they needed places free of ground predators, so their breeding colony locations were extremely restricted.

    I think the main colonies were somewhere around the Grand Banks, with smaller colonies distributed across the North Atlantic. Once we found them they were knackered.

    A good documentary on the subject can be seen on the Channel 4 player, in the 'Extinct' series.

    Personally I feel that the loss of this species is a serious gap in our world. I genuinely wish that along with the thylacine, and Steller's sea cow, we'd just left be.
     
    Ermintruder likes this.
  20. blessmycottonsocks

    blessmycottonsocks Abominable Snowman

    Messages:
    890
    Likes Received:
    1,135
    Trophy Points:
    134
    I believe so. The pen gwyn (great auk) and penguin represent a classic example of convergent evolution, rather like icthyosaurs and dolphins.
     
    Ermintruder and oldrover like this.
  21. oldrover

    oldrover Justified & Ancient

    Messages:
    3,498
    Likes Received:
    927
    Trophy Points:
    119
    LOCATION:
    Wales
    I hope you don't mind Lordmongrove but I think this is such a great find of yours I've shared it elsewhere.
     
  22. Ermintruder

    Ermintruder Existential pixelfixer

    Messages:
    3,736
    Likes Received:
    3,950
    Trophy Points:
    154
    LOCATION:
    Proximate
    So were penguins and auks related at the same branch level as (say) bees and wasps? (Hymenoptera) Or alligators and crocodiles as crocodilia?

    I reckon auks could be called pendhus (black heads, in Welsh...(which is close to cenndhus, in Gaelic)

    [​IMG]
    http://www.projectbritain.com/calendar/June/auk.html
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2017
  23. David Plankton

    David Plankton Justified & Ancient

    Messages:
    4,445
    Likes Received:
    4,731
    Trophy Points:
    169
    That's going to take some digging. And bringing insects into it is only going to make things more complicated.

    I don't know, but very similar looking birds can be of very different lineage.
    Take House Martins and Swallows compared to the Swift. The Swift is a very different kind of bird to the other two although it looks similar and has very similar behaviour.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apodiformes
     
    Ermintruder likes this.
  24. oldrover

    oldrover Justified & Ancient

    Messages:
    3,498
    Likes Received:
    927
    Trophy Points:
    119
    LOCATION:
    Wales
    No, both come from ancient groups of birds, the penguins are Sphenisciformes, only penguins, and are first known from the early Paleocene. While Great Auks/woggins/pen gwyns are Charadiformes, an order first known from the mid Paleocene. The Great Auk's closest living relative is the razorbill. Earliest known auks as in the group that includes puffins, guillemots etc is about 35mya. Or something like all of that anyway.

    They look similar because they both have the same countershading shared by many marine animals. And lived a similar lifestyle. Crucially though the Great Auk seems to have been more adapted to life in the water and paid the price. Not that it had to, or that it was inevitable, it was just our wanton destructiveness that wiped it out. See the C4 documentary.

    Great Auk

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/content/...q0gSBkzcH_-jHFXstKOOPHi_e1tpOIk75CAYQiDp0.jpg

    Razorbill

    https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/...qLNOm8r7BR2FcFZai5vfXoZ4j6L-WxVZDm_7eTY6EVxTb

    Mere penguin

    https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/...snOKyQZNPjyS9wthPShA_GKTMP23sBRo7efsdUIOJDnhM
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2017
  25. blessmycottonsocks

    blessmycottonsocks Abominable Snowman

    Messages:
    890
    Likes Received:
    1,135
    Trophy Points:
    134

    Or penn dhu in Cornish. I was brought up in a part of St Austell Cornwall called pondhu, which may have a similar etymology.
     
    Ermintruder likes this.
  26. oldrover

    oldrover Justified & Ancient

    Messages:
    3,498
    Likes Received:
    927
    Trophy Points:
    119
    LOCATION:
    Wales
    It'd be 'penn du' in Welsh.
     
    Ermintruder likes this.
  27. kamalktk

    kamalktk Justified & Ancient

    Messages:
    3,012
    Likes Received:
    2,244
    Trophy Points:
    159
    Birds on the brain, or woggins on the noggin?
     
  28. lordmongrove

    lordmongrove Justified & Ancient

    Messages:
    1,774
    Likes Received:
    780
    Trophy Points:
    119
    LOCATION:
    Exeter
    WEBSITE:
    www.cfz.org.uk
    No its just slight convergence. Auks were called penguins before the birds we call penguins were discovered. Sorry iof that's as clear as the coal house on a foggy day.
     
    oldrover and Ermintruder like this.
  29. lordmongrove

    lordmongrove Justified & Ancient

    Messages:
    1,774
    Likes Received:
    780
    Trophy Points:
    119
    LOCATION:
    Exeter
    WEBSITE:
    www.cfz.org.uk
    Be my guest old mate.
     
    oldrover likes this.
  30. lordmongrove

    lordmongrove Justified & Ancient

    Messages:
    1,774
    Likes Received:
    780
    Trophy Points:
    119
    LOCATION:
    Exeter
    WEBSITE:
    www.cfz.org.uk

Share This Page