Scientists Reconstruct Long-Extinct Giant Penguin
It was a slender bird, with long wings and a spear-like bill to catch swift ocean prey. And scientists say the first glimpse of the extinct giant penguin species was worth the 26 million-year wait.
Experts from New Zealand and the United States reconstructed a fossil skeleton of one of the giant sea birds to reveal a body shape unique from known penguin species with features that have them describing it as one elegant bird.
The bird stood about 4 feet 2 inches tall, about a foot taller than the largest modern penguin, and lived in the Oligocene period, about 26 million years ago. Scientists said there are several reasons why the giant penguins might have become extinct: It could have been from climate change, the arrival of new predators, or increased competition for food from seals and other creatures.