[alert] A penguin about the size of a human has been unearthed in Waipara, North Canterbury
A penguin about the size of a human has been unearthed in Waipara, North Canterbury.
The fossilised bones of Crossvallia waiparensis were found by amateur palaeontologist Leigh Love at the Waipara Greensand fossil site in North Canterbury last year.
The species was alive between 56 million and 66 million years ago, during the paleocene epoch, weighed up to 80kg and about 1.6m tall, one of the largest penguins ever discovered.
However, analysis of the penguin’s feet suggested they used them for swimming much more than their modern relatives and possibly had not yet adapted to standing upright.
News of the find follows the discovery of the world’s largest parrot in North Otago, and adds to our knowledge of other gigantic but extinct New Zealand animals.