61 million years ago, a giant penguin lived on Earth, keeping company with the dinosaurs who then roamed the planet. Fossils of such a bird have been discovered in New Zealand by researchers from Germany.
Fossils are remains of plant and animal matter found inside rocks. These penguin fossils were found in sand along the Waipara River in New Zealand. The most striking thing about these fossils is that they show how huge the penguin must have been. From the size of the leg bones, researchers have worked out that the bird was almost five feet tall-that’s almost the size of an adult human!
The discovery is also one of the oldest penguin fossils ever discovered, and this means that the evolution (development) of penguins started much earlier than previously thought during the age of the dinosaurs. Dr Gerald Mayr, who led the study of the fossils told a newspaper, “This shows that penguins reached an enormous size quite early in their evolutionary history, around 60 million years ago.”
These giant birds also moved in ways quite different from other penguins from that period. It most likely walked upright, waddling as it went, much like modern penguins do today.