Ancient Giant Penguin Found To Be a Colorful Waddler

More fascinating news about the Giant Penguin as the Penguin Post has learned that Penguins didn’t always boast tuxedo-like black-and-white markings, according to a new study. The discovery of the first ancient penguin fossil with evidence of feathers reveals the aquatic birds were once reddish-brown and gray. The 36 million-year-old fossil represents one of the largest ancient penguins ever found. The bird would have been 5 feet (1.5 meters) tall, and probably weighed twice as much as modern Emperor penguins, which average about 66 pounds (30 kilograms). Its long, grooved beak suggests that, like modern penguins, it hunted by diving for fish.  Imprints of feathers in the rock around the bones could help researchers understand how modern penguin feathers evolved, said Julia Clarke, a paleontologist at The University of Texas at Austin and a co-author of the paper.  “It’s the first evidence of the soft tissues of extinct penguins,” Clarke said.

Artists conception of a hungry Giant Penguin as it opens some giant penguin jaws real wide.

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