Paris, Dec 14: Scientists claim to have discovered fossils of a penguin in New Zealand, which is huge enough to be tagged as “monster bird”. The fossils of the bird is believed to be one of the biggest extinct species of penguin which weighs 100 kilograms and 1.7 metres in height.
Gerald Mayr, German paleontologist from Senckenberg Research Institute who led the study, told the media, “It is remarkable that even these early forms reached such an enormous size”. Scientists believe that the bird lived during late Paleocene period, about 55-60 million years ago. The bird was discovered in Ontago region of South Island in New Zealand. (Also Read: 512 Year-Old Greenland Shark Found in Arctic; Likely Oldest Living Vertebrate)
“We examined the wing and leg bones of this penguin and quickly realised that we were looking at a previously unknown species,” News24.co quoted Mayr as saying.
Mayr believes that these species were wiped out before other large sized marine animals were born. “The penguins faced new competition and predation – which may have led to their extinction,” he added. The scientists say that they developed their huge stature because they were not capable of flying. The report about this discovery has been published in Nature Communications, a science journal.