Home Science Giant penguin fossil found in New Zealand

Giant penguin fossil found in New Zealand

The giant waddling sea bird stood 1.6 meters (63 inches) high and weighed 80 kilograms.

In a new study, scientists reported a discovery on new large-sized species- almost the size of an adult human have been found in New Zealand’s South Island. The new species is the fifth published species of stem-group Sphenisciformes from the Waipara Greensand and the fourth one, which has been formally named.

The fossilized remains from a huge penguin, nearly the size of an adult human, have been found in New Zealand’s South Island. According to scientists, the penguin stood 1.6 meters (63 inches) high and weighed 80 kilograms, about four times heavier and 40cm taller than the modern Emperor penguin.

Named ‘Crossville waiparensis’, it hunted off New Zealand’s coast in the Paleocene era, 66-56 million years ago. It is distinguished from a recently reported tarsometatarsus of an unnamed large-sized penguin species from the Waipara Greensand and is the oldest well-represented giant penguin.

Canterbury Museum researcher Vanesa De Pietri said, “It was the second giant penguin from the Paleocene era found in the area. It further reinforces our theory that penguins attained great size early in their evolution.”

The study is published in the journal an Australasian Journal of Palaeontology.

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