Monster penguins that lived in New Zealand sixty two million a long time ago had doppelgangers in Japan, the Usa and Canada, in accordance to a new analyze.
For the examine published Monday in the Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Investigate, researchers discovered similarities amongst the penguins’ fossilized bones and those of a group of considerably younger Northern Hemisphere birds, known as plotopterids.
These similarities advise plotopterids and historic penguins looked really identical and could give scientists perception into how the birds began to use their wings to swim instead of fly.
The earliest identified penguins swam in tropical seas that practically submerged the land we at present know as New Zealand. Paleontologists discovered the fossilized bones of these historical waddlers, some of which were being as big as five-feet-tall, at Waipara, North Canterbury.
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The big penguins, like these Kumimanu, that lived in Aotearoa New Zealand around 60 million several years back bore a putting resemblance to some plotopterids.
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Plotopterids designed in the Northern Hemisphere about 37 to 34 million many years ago, researchers say, and they’ve been discovered at web-sites in North The united states and Japan.
When experts when compared the fossilized bones of plotopterids with fossils of the big penguin species from Canterbury Museum’s collection, they observed that equally had related extensive beaks with slit-like nostrils, upper body and shoulder bones, and wings.
“What is outstanding about all this is that plotopterids and historical penguins progressed these shared features independently,” mentioned Vanessa De Pietri, a curator at Canterbury Museum, in a statement. “This is an illustration of what we contact convergent evolution, when distantly associated organisms acquire related morphological traits underneath similar environmental situations.”
Though they shared these bodily traits with historical and modern-day penguins, plotopterids are extra intently relevant to gannets and cormorants than they are to penguins.
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Plotopterids like these Copepteryx grew to enormous sizes.
“These birds advanced in various hemispheres, tens of millions of decades aside, but from a distance you would be really hard-pressed
The giant penguins, like these Kumimanu, that lived in Aotearoa New Zealand around sixty million a long time in the past bore a putting resemblance to some plotopterids.
to notify them apart,” Paul Scofield, a Canterbury Museum curator, explained. “Plotopterids looked like penguins, they swam like penguins, they probably ate like penguins — but they were not penguins.”