Scientist in New Zealand claim to have discovered what they are calling, the fossils of “monster penguins,” that apparently roamed the world 60 million years ago.
The discovery of the fossilized bones of a giant penguin was announced Wednesday. Scientists believe they were as tall as humans – potentially more than 5- feet tall – and weighed more than 170 pounds, according to the Associated Press. (RELATED: Giant Parrots Used To Roam Ancient New Zealand, According To Newly-Discovered Fossils)
Giant penguin: New Zealand scientists say they’ve found fossilized bones from an extinct monster penguin that was about the size of a human and swam the oceans some 60 million years ago. https://t.co/vyOaOfB7mG #odd
— AP Oddities (@AP_Oddities) August 14, 2019
According to the report:
They said the previously undiscovered species is believed to have stood about 1.6 meters (5 feet 2 inches) tall and weighed up to 80 kilograms (176 pounds). It’s believed to have been one of several species of giant penguins that thrived soon after dinosaurs died out.
“The oceans were ripe for the picking with the lack of mega predators,” Paul Scofield, a co-author of a paper called, ” “Alcheringa: An Australasian Journal of Palaeontology” said. “It looks like what was going on was that penguins were just starting to exploit that niche.” (RELATED: Police Take Parrot Into Custody After It Tries To Help Drug Dealers Escape)
The finding of the bird is significant as the fossils appear to be similar to fossils that belonged to another giant penguin discovered in 2000 in Antarctica. This allows scientists to conclude that there was once a connection between the two areas during the Paleocene Epoch.
The monster penguins most likely became extinct within 30 million years, as larger marine mammals began roaming the ocean.
Scofield added that the fossilized leg bones indicated the giant penguin’s feet, at that time, played a much bigger role in swimming than those of the penguins of today.
The leg and feet bones were discovered 18 months ago in Waipara River bed near the South Island city of Christchurch by Leigh Love.
“It wasn’t until I got the fossils home and did a little preparation that I realized I had something completely different than what had been found before,” Love explained.