Guillemot is the common name for several species of seabird in the auk family, comprising two genera: "Uria" and "Cepphus". This word of French origin apparently derives from a form of the name William, cf. the _cy. Gwillim or the _fr. Guillaume. [ "Guillemot, n., etymology of" " [ The Oxford English Dictionary] ". 2nd ed. 1989. OED Online. Oxford University Press. Accessed Dec 17, 2007]

The "Uria" are known as murres in North America and, together with the Razorbill, Dovekie and the extinct Great Auk, make up the tribe Alcini. They have distinctly white bellies, thicker, longer bills than "Cepphus" and form very dense colonies on cliffs during the reproductive season.

The three species of "Cepphus" - for which the term "guillemot" is generally reserved in North America - form a tribe of their own: Cepphini. They are smaller than the "Uria" species, have black bellies, rounder heads and bright red feet.



*Common Guillemot or Common Murre, " Uria aalge"
*Brünnich's Guillemot or Thick-billed Murre, " Uria lomvia"

Some prehistoric species are also known:

* "Uria bordkorbi" (Monterey or Sisquoc Late Miocene of Lompoc, USA)
* "Uria affinis" (Late Pleistocene of E USA) - possibly a subspecies of "U. lomvia"
* "Uria paleohesperis"

"U. brodkorbi" is interesting insofar as it is the only known occurrence of the Alcini tribe in the temperate to subtropical Pacific, except for the very fringe of the range of "U. aalge". It suggests that the "Uria" species, which are the sister taxon to all the other Alcini, and like them are usually believed to have evolved in the Atlantic, may have evolved in the Caribbean or possibly close to the Isthmus of Panama. The modern Pacific distribution would then be part of a later arctic expansion, whereas most other auk lineages form clades with a continuous range in the Pacific, from Arctic to subtropical waters.


* Black Guillemot or Tystie, " Cepphus grylle"
* Pigeon Guillemot, " Cepphus columba"
* Spectacled Guillemot, " Cepphus carbo"

As in other genera of auks, fossils of prehistoric forms of "Cepphus" have been found:

* "Cepphus olsoni" (San Luis Rey River Late Miocene - Early Pliocene of W USA)
* "Cepphus" cf. "columba" (Lawrence Canyon Early Pliocene of W USA)
* "Cepphus" cf. "grylle" (San Diego Late Pliocene, W USA)

The latter two resemble the extant species, but because of the considerable distance in time or space from their current occurrence, they may represent distinct species.


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  • guillemot — [ gijmo ] n. m. • 1555; dimin. de Guillaume, surnom de cet oiseau ♦ Oiseau palmipède (charadriiformes) voisin du pingouin, habitant les régions arctiques. Guillemot à miroir. ● guillemot nom masculin (diminutif de Guillaume) Oiseau des mers… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Guillemot —   [vollständiger Name Guillemot Corporation], Hersteller und Händler von Hardware und Zubehör für PCs und Spielkonsolen mit Sitz in Carentoir (Bretagne, Frankreich). Die Produkte werden unter den Marken Guillemot, ThrustMaster und Hercules (3D… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • guillemot — 1. (ghi lle mo, ll mouillées) s. m. Nom vulgaire d un genre d oiseaux palmipèdes plongeurs (genre larus).    Petit guillemot, nom sous lequel Buffon a décrit le cephus alle, palmipèdes, qui était l alque alle de Linné (voy. colombe). guillemot 2 …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • Guillemot — Guil le*mot , n. [F.] (Zo[ o]l.) One of several northern sea birds, allied to the auks. They have short legs, placed far back, and are expert divers and swimmers. [1913 Webster] Note: The common guillemots, or murres, belong to the genus {Uria}… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Guillemot — Diminutif de Guillaume (voir Guillem), surtout porté dans le Morbihan. Doubles diminutifs : Guillemoto, Guillemotto (56), Guillemotheau (79). Matronyme : Guillemotte (56) …   Noms de famille

  • guillemot — the name of a bird, is pronounced gil i mot …   Modern English usage

  • guillemot — Guillemot, Jeune pluvier qui n a encore mué …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • guillemot — ► NOUN ▪ an auk with a narrow pointed bill, typically nesting on cliff ledges. ORIGIN French, from Guillaume William …   English terms dictionary

  • guillemot — [gil′ə mät΄] n. [Fr, dim. of Guillaume, William: see ROBIN] any of various narrow billed, northern alcidine shorebirds (genera Uria and Cepphus) …   English World dictionary

  • Guillemot — Das Logo der Firma Guillemot Corporation ist ein im Jahr 1985 für den Vertrieb von Hardware gegründetes französisches Unternehmen mit Sitz in Carentoir im Département Morbihan. Gründer waren die fünf bretonischen Brüder Guillemot, Claude, Michel …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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