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A giant fossil discovered by school children is a new species of extinct penguins

The giant penguins depicted here were 4.7 feet tall when they lived 34 million years ago (Photo: Simone Giovanardi).

A 34-million-year-old fossil discovered by school children on a beach in New Zealand has been identified as a new species of penguins.

Children on a summer fossil hunting trip at the Hamilton Junior Naturalist Club in Kawaia Harbor, Waikato, discovered the ruins in 2006.

And scientists at Massey University in New Zealand have finally revealed that the skeleton belongs to a species previously unknown to humans.

The giant penguins are called “Kyle Kwaevaeroa” and the second part of the name is inspired by the Maori word for “long legs”.

Dr. Daniel Thomas, Senior Lecturer of Zoology at Massey’s School of Natural and Computational Sciences, said:

“These long legs are much higher than other Kairuku, probably about 1.4 meters high, while the penguins are walking on land, which may have affected their swimming speed and diving depth. . “

Kyle Kwaevaeroa is believed to have roamed the New Zealand coastline about 34.6 to 27.3 million years ago, dwarfing modern penguins with an estimated height of 4.7 feet.

Researchers have used 3D scanning to reveal more about ancient penguins. The ancient penguins would have been taller than many of the children who discovered them.

A. Fossil line drawing, B. Fossil photo, C. Size comparison of Kyle Kwaevaeroa and Emperor Penguin (Photo: Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology)

Study published yesterday Journal of Vertebrate PalaeontologyThe discovery adds that it is the most complete fossilized skeleton of the ancient giant penguins ever discovered.

Dr. Thomas added: ‘Kyle Kwaevaeroa is symbolic for many reasons. Fossil penguins remind us that we share Zealandia with an incredible line of animals that reach deep in time. This sharing gives us an important guardian role.

“The way children discover fossil penguins by discovering nature reminds us of the importance of encouraging future generations to become Kaitiaki. [guardians].. “

Stephen Safe, one of the children who discovered the fossil at the age of 13 15 years ago, said:

“And it’s a new species! Little is known about the existence of giant penguins in New Zealand, so it’s really great to know that the community continues to study and learn about them.

Dr. Esther Dale, a plant ecologist involved in the discovery, said:

“I’m looking forward to what we can learn from the evolution of penguins and life in New Zealand.”

Mike Safey, President of the Hamilton Junior Naturalist Club, said:

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A giant fossil discovered by school children is a new species of extinct penguins

Source link A giant fossil discovered by school children is a new species of extinct penguins

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