Prehistoric penguins grew to much larger sizes than today's penguins. Image Credit: NSF/Josh Landis
The remains of an enormous prehistoric penguin have been found on a beach to the south of Christchurch.
Standing up to 6ft tall and weighing over 100 kilograms, the new species, which has been named Kumimanu biceae
, was thought to have had brown feathers and a longer beak than today's penguins.
Its name is based on the Moari words 'kumi' ( a mythological monster ) and 'manu' ( bird ).
"It would most likely have been slimmer [than modern penguins] and not so cute looking," said Gerald Mayr at the Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum in Frankfurt.
"It's one of the tallest penguins that has ever been found."
Penguins evolved from flying birds tens of millions of years ago but ultimately lost the ability to fly in favor of becoming highly effective swimmers.
Some species, like Kumimanu biceae
, grew to truly enormous sizes.
Source: The Guardian | Comments (5)
Penguin, New Zealand