On the News | Waddling with dinosaurs: Ancient New Zealand fossil connects penguins and dinosaurs @ Environment

On the News @ Environment


The fossilised remains of an ancient, human-sized penguin found in Canterbury suggest penguins once waddled the earth with dinosaurs.

A fossilised leg bone found in the Waipara River belonged to a penguin that stood 1.5 metres tall, roughly the size of a small adult.

It would have swam in the waters of Zealandia, the sub-continent which broke away from Gondwanaland.

It was dated to 61 million years ago, making it among the oldest penguin fossils ever discovered.

Research based on the specimen, just published in The Science of Nature, came to an “unexpected” conclusion – penguins are older than originally thought and likely existed alongside dinosaurs.

The conclusion came from comparison to another ancient penguin species, also discovered in Waipara.


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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)