In an article about the biggest bird in history, wethey said that all animals existing today are smaller copies of their ancestors. This is true - millions of years ago truly giant sloths, sharks and other creatures inhabited our planet. Numerous archaeological finds prove that penguins were no exception and some of the ancient species of these birds were growth from an adult and weighed at least 50 kilograms. The remains of one of these species have recently been found in New Zealand. We think you would hardly want to meet a giant penguin face to face.
The remains were found in 2018 on the banks of the river.near the New Zealand city of Waipara. In particular, an amateur paleontologist named Lee Love managed to unearth the bones of the legs and something similar to a penguin fin. Scientists compared the remains with the bones of other species of penguin and suggested that the representatives of the new species of penguin for science were about 160 centimeters high, weighed about 80 kilograms and barely stood on two legs, but were excellent swimmers. The species was named Crossvallia waiparensis in honor of the river, on the banks of which bones were found.
The biggest penguin in history
Ancient penguins living about 66–56 millionyears ago, were much larger than the descendants who survived to our times. For comparison, the average height of the emperor penguin is about 123 centimeters with a mass of 22 to 45 kilograms. However, a recently discovered species was not the largest in history. The fact is that earlier near the city of Waypara, the remains of other ancient penguins were found.
Comparison of man and penguin Crossvallia waiparensis
The largest penguin in the world belongs to the speciesKumimanu biceae. The name of this species comes from the words "Kumi" and "manu", which from the language of the New Zealand people, the Maori translates as "great mythological monster" and "bird". After examining the surviving remains of the humerus and several ribs and comparing them with the skeleton of modern penguins, scientists suggested that the growth of the ancient penguin was 177 centimeters, and the weight was 101 kilograms. In general, he was growing from an adult.
Comparison of human and penguin Kumimanu biceae
Why were animals big before?
To this question, scientists still can not givethe exact answer. It is believed that animals could grow to gigantic proportions because in ancient times there was much more pure oxygen on Earth. This conclusion was made during observations of insects. It has been found that in regions rich in oxygen, insects such as dragonflies grow to very large sizes.
Ancient penguin bones
In addition, there were much more on Earth beforefood for animals. Herbivores actively if plant food, while predators hunted other well-fed creatures. Due to climate change and the emergence of humans, the amount of food decreased dramatically, so animals could no longer provide their huge bodies with enough energy. In the course of evolution, they became less and less.
Millions of years ago, even parrots were giant
The territory of New Zealand is full of diversefossils, so scientists quite often make interesting discoveries. For example, they recently discovered a new species of ancient parrots of meter height. Read more about this giant - you would hardly want such a “bird” to sit on your shoulder. Would you dare to approach her? Share your answer in the comments, or in our Telegram chat.