(WHDH) — Scientists in New Zealand have discovered a new species of giant penguins that stood more than 5 feet tall and weighed more than 170 pounds.
The “monster” penguin, also known as Crossvallia waiparensis, lived about 66 million years ago, according to the Canterbury Museum. They are the world’s oldest known penguin species and also one of the largest.
The discovery adds to the list of gigantic, but extinct, New Zealand fauna, including the world’s largest parrot, a giant eagle, giant burrowing bat, the moa and other giant penguins.
Paleontologist Leigh Love found the bones at the Waipara Greensand fossil site in 2018 and they were later analyzed at the Senckenberg Natural History Museum in Frankfurt, Germany.
Canterbury Museum curators concluded that the bones belonged to the Crossvallia species.
Waipara Greensand is said to be arguably the world’s most significant site for penguin fossils from the Paleocene Epoch.
The fossils will be displayed in a new exhibition about prehistoric New Zealand at Canterbury Museum later this year.
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