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Old December 14th, 2017, 02:09 PM   #1

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New Zealand's ancient penguin was as big as a human


New Zealand's ancient penguin was as big as a human

Click the image to open in full size.Fossils of a giant man-sized penguin that once roamed New Zealand sat on a shelf for years before scientists started exploring their secrets.
The bones were found in a chunk of rock on an Otago beach in 2004. The creature measured nearly 1.77 metres long when swimming and weighed in at 101kg.
When standing, the ancient bird was maybe only 1.6m. The biggest penguin today, the emperor in Antarctica, stands less than 1.2m tall.

Click the image to open in full size.

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-017-01959-6
https://www.stuff.co.nz/science/9980...big-as-a-human
A Paleocene penguin from New Zealand substantiates multiple origins of gigantism in fossil Sphenisciformes

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-017-01959-6
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Old December 14th, 2017, 02:15 PM   #2

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First the moa and now a giant penguin. Big in Japan my bumm. New Zealand's the answer. Makes me sad that we can't see some of the extinct species today. Sure would be great to see a giant lemur, sloth, elephant bird, moa or this penguin.
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Old December 14th, 2017, 05:54 PM   #3

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shtajerc View Post
First the moa and now a giant penguin. New Zealand's the answer. Makes me sad that we can't see some of the extinct species today. Sure would be great to see a giant lemur, sloth, elephant bird, moa or this penguin.
Thinking about gigantism in some species you can still see the world's largest parrot (the kakapo), and the world's largest rail (the takahe) , and the tuatara, a close cousin to the dinosaur, ... Rhynchocephalia. ... The single species of tuatara is the only surviving member of its order, which flourished around 200 million years ago.
Many more of the gigantic fauna though have now long been extinct leaving a memory in folk lore.

Before human colonisation the New Zealand fauna was dominated by birds, many of them flightless and many of them very large - the largest of these being the giant Moa, the tallest birds ever to have existed. Evidence of talon marks on Moa skeletons confirm that they predated on these large birds - prey that weighed up to 200 kilograms!

They would also have preyed upon other flightless birds, particularly Aptornis, Weka, Takahe, flightless geese and ducks. But the most spine chilling thought is that they must also have preyed on humans just imagine if this eagle still existed it would have made a Sunday stroll in the bush a much more sobering experience!
Wingspan National Bird of Prey Centre | Extinct New Zealand Giant Eagle | Haast's Eagle



The Haast's eagle (Harpagornis moorei) is an extinct species of eagle that once lived in the South Island of New Zealand, commonly accepted to be the Pouakai of Maori legend. The species was the largest eagle known to have existed. Its primary prey was suspected to consist of moa. This eagle's massive size may have been an evolutionary response to the size of its prey, as both would have been much smaller when they first came to the island, and would have grown larger over time due to lack of competition (see island gigantism). Haast's eagle became extinct around 1400, when its major food source, the moa, were hunted to extinction by Maori, and much of its dense-forest habitat was cleared by them.
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