The remains of a giant penguin discovered in New Zealand
Photo: Canterbury Museum CC BY NC / Supplied
The fossilized bones of "Crossvallia waiparensis" were discovered by an amateur paleontologist Lay Love in the fossil site of Waipara Greensand in North Canterbury last year.
Five other penguin species were found at the same place. This species was alive between 56 million and 66 million years ago, during the Paleocene era, weighed up to 80 kg and about 1.6 m in height, one of the largest penguins ever discovered.
Canterbury Museum curators Dr. Paul Scofield and Dr. Vanesa de Pietri, as well as Dr. Gerald Mayr of the Senckenberg Museum of Natural History in Frankfurt, Germany, examined animal bones.
The news of the find follows the discovery of the world's largest parrot in North Otago and adds to our knowledge other giant but extinct New Zealand animals, including other giant penguins, a giant eagle, a giant burrowing bat and moa.
Fossils of several gigantic species will be featured at a new exhibition of prehistoric New Zealand at the Canterbury Museum later this year.
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