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Oldest penguin fossil shows that penguins diversified earlier than previously assumed


PhysOrg

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Together with colleagues from New Zealand, Senckenberg scientist Dr. Gerald Mayr described a recently discovered fossil of a giant penguin with a body length of around 150 centimeters. The new find dates back to the Paleocene era and, with an age of approx. 61 million years, counts among the oldest penguin fossils in the world. The bones differ significantly from those of other discoveries of the same age and indicate that the diversity of Paleocene penguins was higher than previously assumed. In their study, published today in the Springer scientific journal The Science of Nature, the team of scientists therefore postulates that the evolution of penguins started much earlier than previously thought, probably already during the age of dinosaurs.

 

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