Today’s tiny tuxedo-wearing penguins were once enormous. We don’t think so. This amazing information was revealed by a new study. Today’s flightless bird weighs between 22 and 45 kilogrammes. However, it was once 154 to 159kg. This is more than the Emperor Penguin, which is the largest member of the species. Kumimanu Fordycei (or K fordycei) is the name of the now extinct penguin species. This means that they lived in New Zealand a few years before dinosaurs disappeared. The Journal of Paleontology published the findings of the international research team.
Between 2016 and 2017, the fossils of this penguin, and another species, were discovered. They were found among the 57-million-year-old beach rocks in North Otago on New Zealand’s South Island.
A team of international scientists discovered fossilized evidence that two penguin species roamed Earth over 50 million years ago while searching the South Island’s beachy boulders.
Kumimanu Fordycei, the largest penguin ever to live, is perhaps the most important. Wednesday’s Journal of Paleontology published a study about the discovery. It was co-authored by. This is a compelling way to put it.
“At 350 pounds, it would have been heavier than Shaquille O’Neal’s greatest accomplishments.” Cambridge University’s Daniel Field A male ostrich can weigh in at around 290 pounds.
Daniel Ksepka, Connecticut’s Bruce Museum’s first author, tweeted an image of his “best guess” at the penguin’s height. It appears to be roughly the same size as a human, if not larger. However, it is much smaller than the gigantic penguin that was predicted to live on Earth posthumanity by paleontologist Dougal. Dixon imagined a 12-meter (nearly 40-foot) giant. Yikes.
Multiple specimens of a second species of penguin were also found. This gave us a more detailed view of its skeleton. Petradyptes stonehousei was named after it. It weighed 50kg. This is less than Kumimanu Fordycei, but still more than an emperor penguin. The name is a combination of the Greek words “petra” meaning rock and “dyptes”, which means diver. This refers to the bird that dives in a boulder. Stonehousei is named after Dr. Bernard Stonehouse (1926 – 2014), who was the first to observe the entire breeding cycle of the emperor penguin. This was a significant milestone in penguin biology.
These newly-described penguin species reveal that penguins grew very large in their evolutionary history, many millions of years before fine-tuning their flipper apparatus. The researchers observed primitive characteristics in the two species, such as slenderer flipper bones and muscle attachment points similar to flying birds.