On the News | Giant Prehistoric Penguins Evolved During the Dinosaur Age @ Live Science


On the News @ Live Science


Title:

Giant Prehistoric Penguins Evolved During the Dinosaur Age


Excerpt

“Penguins that walked the Earth 61 million years ago might have been giants, growing to nearly 5 feet tall,

The Waipara giant penguin compared to an emperor penguin (the largest living penguin species) and a human.
Credit: copyright Senckenberg Nature Research Society (@source)

according to the oldest penguin fossils unearthed to date. Perhaps even more impressive, these oversize waddlers might have evolved alongside dinosaurs, the researchers report in a new study.

Penguins are flightless, but they can swim at speeds of up to 22 mph (35 km/h). The biggest living penguin, the emperor penguin, can grow to be about 3.9 feet (1.2 meters) tall, but previously unearthed fossils revealed that extinct penguins could get as large as 5.4 feet (1.65 m) tall.

Although penguins are flightless, their anatomy suggests that their ancestors could fly, just as other modern birds can. For example, some wing bones in living penguins are fused together in the same way as those in flying birds, said study co-author Paul Scofield, a paleontologist at the Canterbury Museum in Christchurch, New Zealand. In addition,modern penguins have air sacs in their bodies just as flying birds do, although in flying birds, these air sacs help reduce weight for flight, whereas in penguins, they help the birds control their buoyancy, Scofield told Live Science. (…)” READ MORE

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Read it here:

http://www.livescience.com/58042-giant-penguins-evolved-alongside-dinosaurs.html

Lurdes Fonseca

Assistant Professor and Researcher at University of Lisbon
Sociologist (PhD), Paleontologist (Researcher in Micropaleontology), Majors in Sociology and Biology, Minor in Geology. Main interests in Paleontology: Microfossils, Molecular fossils, Paleobiology and Paleoecology. (read more about me)