Kairuku and other penguin ancestors

Kairuku was the name of a genus of penguins now extinct. It contained two species, whose remains have been found on the island of New Zealand and that go back about 25 million years ago. ‘Kairuku’ comes from the Maori language, meaning something like « diver returning with food ».
Kairuku penguins were big penguins, about 130cm tall and not too fat, with a quite thin beak.

 

 

 

Inkayacu paracasensis, or ‘water king’ was another species of extinct penguin discovered in Peru. It was a very tall penguin, with a metre and a half of height, and it lived around 36 million years ago.

 

 

Waitaha penguin: Megadyptes waitaha is another species of extinct penguin discovered in New Zealand. It became recently extinct, about 500 years ago. It was related to the modern endangered yellow-eyed penguin, and it was a smaller penguin, around half a metre tall.

yellow-eyed penguin

 

+http://terranature.org/penguinKairuku.htm

+http://fossilpenguins.wordpress.com/2012/02/27/introducing-kairuku/

+http://www.wired.com/2010/09/inkayacu-perus-giant-fossil-penguin-and-the-stories-its-feathers-tell/

+http://www.nbcnews.com/id/27802374/ns/technology_and_science-science/t/new-penguin-found-years-after-extinction/

+http://www.smh.com.au/news/science/penguin-ancestor-revealed/2007/06/26/1182623909227.html

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