Penguin Fossils Suggest They Evolved After Dinosaurs Became Extinct


Penguins are not always the little tuxedo sports birds we see and love today. Once, huge penguins, the size of humans ruled top. But how did they evolve into the creatures living in Antarctica we don’t know about it. Scientists have discovered fossils that act as the missing link for their evolution — and it all occurred after the dinosaurs went extinct. Fossils from five partial skeletons were originating on the Chatham Islands close to New Zealand’s South Island. The fossils originated in the distant areaduring diggings from 2006 to 2011. The team headed by Jeffrey Stilwell, a Monash University paleontologist. The fossilsfit the recently exposed classes Kupoupou stilwelli, the first known penguin that’s related in size to recent penguins. Its name is resulting from the native Moriori persons of the Chatham Islands. In their Te Re Moriori language, Kupoupou means diving bird. Stilwelli is in honor of Stilwell’s discovery. A study was describing an analysis of the fossils available on Monday in the journal Palaeontologia Electronica.

Mr. Jacob Blokland, a Ph.D. paleontology candidate and study author at Flinders University, said that as compared to recently defined giant penguin Crossvallia waiparensisKupoupou was relatively small no larger than recent King Penguins. It is 1.1 meters tall and has comparably shorter legs than some other primary fossil penguins. According to that, it was more like the penguins of today, meaning it would have swayed on land. Mr. Blokland said that corresponding to modern penguins, earlier ones performed well in underwater. It was also the first penguin found to related in both foot shape and hind limb to modern penguins. The earliest penguin fossils have been originating on the eastern coast of South Island’s. It is 497 miles away from the Chatham Islands. This innovation causes researchers to enquire how they are connected.

Researchers also found remnants of bigger penguin classes on the distant archipelago, but there was not sufficient material to name it. These little penguins may have been swimming along with their larger equivalents. And the fossils provision the idea that penguins evolved rapidly after the dinosaurs went extinct. According to Mr. Paul Scofield, Flinders University professor and study author considered that the ancestors of penguins differed from the lineage. They are leading to their nearby living relatives such as petrels and albatross of the Late Cretaceous period. Many diverse species leapt after the dinosaurs were wiped out.