Fossils show giant penguin

2012-02-28 11:27

Wellington - Fossilised remains of one of the largest penguins ever, an "elegant" giant standing 1.3m tall, have been found in New Zealand, scientists said on Tuesday.

The penguin lived 27 - 24 million years ago, when New Zealand was mostly underwater and consisted of isolated, rocky outcrops that offered protection from predators and plentiful food supplies, researchers said.

The first traces of the penguin, dubbed Kairuku - Maori for diver who returns with food - was found embedded in a cliff at Waimate in the South Island by University of Otago paleontologist professor Ewen Fordyce in 1977.

Over the years, Fordyce discovered more complete remains and invited University of North Carolina specialist Dan Ksepka to help reconstruct the lost giant in 2009.

They determined the bird was much larger than the biggest modern penguin, the Emperor, which grows up to 1m, and weighed in at 60kg, twice as much as the Emperor.

"Kairuku was an elegant bird by penguin standards, with a slender body and long flippers, but short, thick legs and feet," Ksepka said.

Fordyce said the bird's large size was an adaption that allowed it to swim further and dive deeper than its modern-day counterparts.

He was unsure why it became extinct, suggesting climate change or increased predation from dolphins and seals as possible reasons for its demise.

The findings were published in the latest edition of the Journal of Vertebrate Palaeontology.

In 2010, scientists reported finding a fossilised specimen from 36 million years ago estimated to have been 1.5m tall.

  • Bertus - 2012-02-28 12:18

    Damn, I thought "giant" was going to be be godzilla-like. disappointed!

      PatPion - 2012-02-28 12:40

      Bwahaha! Me too!

  • Godfrey - 2012-02-28 12:49

    Of corse the world is not milljons of yeers old. Only 6000 yerrs only and this so-called siontests are lying. Evolutionists will claim that a fossil is millions of years old because that is the date given by radiometric dating; then state that it is reliable because they "know" that the fossil is millions of years old due to the strata in which it was found; additionally because the radiometric dating methods agree with each other, and date correctly materials which were historically dated by humans. (FSTDT) Just becos a sciontest gives an explunashun doesnt mean it is rite. That is why science has always changed over the yeers. Only G-ds explunashu dusnt change.

      Vicker - 2012-02-28 13:04

      You really should brush up on your spelling and grammar skills, Godfrey. It will make your comments so much more credible. Please note I am not knocking your opinion though.

      chasgibbons - 2012-02-28 13:07

      @godfrey: Please do us all a favor and go back to school and learn to spell. Then go and study some more - especially the Sciences (ALL of them). Once you have completed this LITTLE exercise, perhaps you will be able to comprehend the subject you obviously know so little about and will then be able to make a comment. Thanks....

      Hugh - 2012-02-28 13:13

      So old Moses decided he couldn't fit TRex and his mates in the ark, so he abandoned them to perish in the flood. Now I didn't know that.

      S - 2012-02-28 13:31

      Godfrey is a troll. For you Afrikaans ouks: Godfrey is 'n drol.

      Godfrey - 2012-02-28 13:40

      @Vicker I am surely not surprised that you would agree with my views. Thanks.

      Godfrey - 2012-02-28 13:42

      @chasgibbons To really understand the history of evolution, we have to understand the author. Satan is the master-mind behind this false doctrine....Satan, in the form of the serpent, brought the doctrine of evolution to the Garden of Eden. - Kent Hovind

      Godfrey - 2012-02-28 13:44

      @Hugh Noah's Ark - Genesis 6:15 indicates that Noah's ark is approximately 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high (assuming a cubit of 18 inches), which is about half as big as the Queen Mary. - So he easily got all the dinosaurs and the millions of species on the Ark. This is my citation Department of ProtoBioCybernetics and ProtoBioSemiotics, Origin of Life Science Foundation, Inc

      Godfrey - 2012-02-28 13:45

      @S In die drinkwater, nogal!

      Unfound - 2012-02-28 14:13

      I call Poe!

      Godfrey - 2012-02-28 14:27

      @Unfound And not a very good one at that. Still, got some bites.

      Modefan - 2012-02-28 14:30

      Having a really bad day at work, could use some cheering up... .. Hey Godfrey, how but giving me some of that stuff that you're smoking?

      Godfrey - 2012-02-28 15:40

      @Modefan 40 million year old penguin guano. Still fairly strong.

      Unfound - 2012-02-29 07:56

      I have seen better. I weep for the skeptic movement in SA if anybody missed that.

  • Renier - 2012-02-28 17:23

    Yea and i bed noah was smart enough to o ly take the smaller or baby animals

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