Scientists have recognized a brand new species of big penguin from fossils found in New Zealand.
The extinct penguin lived within the Paleocene Epoch between 66 million and 56 million years in the past, in keeping with the Canterbury Museum.
Taller than the fashionable Emperor Penguin, the penguins, named Crossvallia waiparensis, stood about 5 ft and weighed as much as 80 kilograms (176 kilos).
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The fossils had been found by beginner paleontologist Leigh Love on the Waipara Greensand fossil website in North Canterbury on New Zealand’s South Island in 2018. Canterbury Museum curators Paul Scofield, Vanesa De Pietri, and Gerald Mayr, of Senckenberg Pure Historical past Museum in Frankfurt, Germany, studied the bones and located that they belonged to a beforehand unknown penguin species.
Scofield mentioned the leg bones indicated the monster penguin’s ft could have performed a much bigger position in swimming than is the case with penguins right this moment.
He mentioned that following the extinction of dinosaurs, marine reptiles and gigantic fish, it appeared there was an evolutionary alternative for penguins to thrive and develop in measurement.
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“The oceans had been ripe for the selecting with the dearth of mega predators,” Scofield mentioned, in keeping with the Related Press. “It appears to be like like what was occurring was that penguins had been simply beginning to exploit that area of interest.”
The findings had been revealed this week in “Alcheringa: An Australasian Journal of Palaeontology.”
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The massive penguin is simply the most recent exceptional prehistoric animal to be found by scientists in New Zealand. Nineteen million-year-old fossils of a big parrot dubbed ‘Squawkzilla,’ for instance, had been present in Central Otago.
Fox Information’ Chris Ciaccia and the Related Press contributed to this text.
Observe James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers