On the News @ Live Science
Giant Prehistoric Penguins Evolved During the Dinosaur Age
“Penguins that walked the Earth 61 million years ago might have been giants, growing to nearly 5 feet tall,
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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