Giant Prehistoric Penguin Found

The Penguin Post is reporting that paleontologists working at Argentina’s Natural Sciences Museum of La Plata province have assembled the fossil remains of an ancient penguin that’s about the same size of most NBA forwards.  Although at first glance one can assume that its basketball skills would undoubtedly be dubious at best.   This penguin stood six and half feet tall, and lived roughly 34 million years ago. The team’s lead researcher, Marcelo Reguero said the newly discovered penguin species will “allow for a more intensive and complex study of the ancestors of modern penguins.”

Prehistoric penguin checks out his contemporary cousins

In this mock up a prehistoric penguin checks out his puny contemporary cousins

 

“This is the largest penguin known to date in terms of height and body mass,” said team member Carolina Acosta. She also noted that the modern emperor penguin (presently unavailable for comment), which grows to about 4 feet tall had been the previous record holder.

What this 6 1/2 foot tall penguin may have looked like

What this 6 1/2 foot tall penguin may have looked like next to a dead ichthyosaur

 

The fossil was located in northwest Antarctica, and the team plans to return during the region’s summer to attempt to uncover more fossils from the ancient penguin as well as study how it would have moved. Notably, past studies of other prehistoric penguins suggested that they may not have been black and white like the bird of today, but instead sported reddish brown and gray plumage. This is still a subject for debate and study.

Obviously it wasn't easy being a prehistoric penguin

Obviously it wasn’t easy being a prehistoric penguin

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