The fossilized stays of an enormous penguin nearly the scale of an grownup human have been present in New Zealand’s South Island, scientists introduced Wednesday.
The enormous waddling sea chicken stood 1.6 metres (63 inches) excessive and weighed 80 kilograms, about 4 instances heavier and 40cm taller than the fashionable Emperor penguin, researchers mentioned.
Named “crossvallia waiparensis”, it hunted off New Zealand’s coast within the Paleocene period, 66-56 million years in the past.
An newbie fossil hunter discovered leg bones belonging to the chicken final yr and it was confirmed as a brand new species in analysis revealed this week in Alcheringa: An Australasian Journal of Palaeontology.
Canterbury Museum researcher Vanesa De Pietri mentioned it was the second large penguin from the Paleocene period discovered within the space.
“It further reinforces our theory that penguins attained great size early in their evolution,” she mentioned.
Scientists have beforehand speculated that the mega-penguins finally died out because of the emergence of different giant marine predators corresponding to seals and toothed whales.
New Zealand is well-known for its extinct large birds, together with the flightless moa, which was as much as 3.6-metres tall, and Haast’s eagle, which had a wingspan of three metres.
Simply final week, Canterbury Museum introduced the invention of a prodigious parrot that was one metre tall and lived about 19 million years in the past.