Online Encyclopedia

MALLEMUCK

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V17, Page 490 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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MALLEMUCK, from the German rendering of the Dutch Mallemugge (which originally meant small flies or midges that madly whirl round a light), a name given by the early Dutch Arctic voyagers to the Fulmar (q.v.), of which the English form is nowadays most commonly applied by our sailors to the smaller albatrosses, of about the size of a goose, met with in the Southern Ocean—corrupted into " molly mawk," or " mollymauk." A number of species have been identified. Diomedea irrorata of West Peru is sooty-brown with white mottlings and a white head; D. migripes of the North Pacific is similar in colour but with white only near the eye and at the base of the tail and bill; D. immutabilis of Japan is darker but has a white head. D. melanophrys of the southern oceans has been found in summer both in California, in England, and as far north as the Faeroes, Ac-cording to J. Gould the latter is the commonest species of albatross inhabiting the Southern Ocean, and its gregarious habits and familiar disposition make it well known to every voyager to or from Australia, for it is equally common in the Atlantic as well as the Pacific. The back, wings and tail are of a blackish-grey, but all the rest of the plumage is white, except a dusky super-ciliary streak, whence its name of black-browed albatross, as also its scientific epithet, are taken. The bill of the adult is of an ochreous-yellow, while that of the young is dark. This species breeds on the Falkland Islands. D. bulleri of the New Zealand seas is greyish-brown, with white underparts and rump and ashy head. Diomedea (or Thalassogeron) culminate and chlororhyncha of the southern seas, D. (or T.) cauta of Tasmania, salvini of New Zealandandlayardi of the Cape resemble'D. bulleri, but have a strip of naked skin between the plates of the maxilla towards its base. H. N. Moseley (Notes of a Naturalist, 130) describes D. culminata as making a cylindrical nest of grass, sedge and clay, with a shallow basin atop and an overhanging rim—the whole being about 14 in. in diameter and to in height. The bird lays a single white egg, which is held in a sort of pouch, formed by the skin of the abdomen, while she is incubating. The feet of D. bulleri are red, of D. chlororhyncha flesh-coloured, of the others yellow. (A. N.)
End of Article: MALLEMUCK
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GEORGE BRUCE MALLESON (1825-1898)

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