World & Nation

Scientists say monster penguin once swam New Zealand oceans

Giant penguin
An illustration shows the approximate height of a giant penguin next to a human being.
(Canterbury Museum via Associated Press)

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Scientists in New Zealand say they’ve found fossilized bones from an extinct monster penguin that was about the size of a human and swam the oceans some 60 million years ago.

They say the previously undiscovered species is believed to have stood about 1.6 meters (5 feet 2 inches) tall and weighed up to 80 kilograms (176 pounds). It’s believed to have been one of several species of giant penguins that thrived soon after dinosaurs died out.

The findings were published this week in “Alcheringa: An Australasian Journal of Palaeontology.”

Paul Scofield, a co-author and senior curator at the Canterbury Museum, says the discovery is significant because the species is similar to another giant penguin found in Antarctica and helps connect the two regions during that era.

Must-read stories from the L.A. Times

Get all the day's most vital news with our Today's Headlines newsletter, sent every weekday morning.

You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.