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Archaeologists in Argentina have exhumed fossils which reveal that Antarctica was once home to extinct mega Colossus penguins that were as tall as people. They were believed to weigh around 250 pounds and stood around 6 feet 7 inches tall. These Colossus penguins would have been the biggest species ever to waddle over the Earth.
Scientist Carolina Acosta Hospitaleche, who works at the La Plata Museum in Argentina, explained that around 35 to 40 million years ago was a very special time for penguins on Earth. There were about 10 to 15 different species living all together on the Antarctic coast. Dr. Hospitaleche and her research group found the penguin fossils and were able to determine that they belonged to the biggest species of penguin that ever strode over the Earth. The wing and anklebone were discovered on a chain of islands known as the Seymour Islands. They are next to the southernmost tip of South America.
The doctor and her research team propose that the giant birds were probably twice the size of Emperor penguins. Those are the birds that presently control the icy area. Currently, emperor penguins are the tallest and largest penguin type alive. They weigh from 50 to 100 pounds and stand around four feet tall.
Dr. Hospitaleche stated that what the Colossus penguin, officially named, Palaeeudyptes klekowski, had in particular and is especially striking is their size, because even though it was already known there were giant penguins in Antarctica, these newly discovered bones are actually very much bigger than any other bones that have been found from any penguin fossils. They are not the only penguins which existed between 35 and 40 million years ago. That is the approximate age of the new remains, but it is also known that around 15 species, depending on divergent opinion, existed on Antarctica’s shorelines.
What is most likely not surprising is the larger that a penguin is, the deeper it is able to dive. The Colossus penguin was thought to have had the ability to stay submerged hunting for fish for nearly 40 to 60 minutes at a time. The enormous birds would also have enjoyed much warmer weather than Antarctica presently has, with temperatures nearer to what it feels like in present day South America.
Colossus penguins most likely perished during the Eocene period which happened about 56 to 34 million years ago. That was a broadly defined era which was discerned by the arrival of early deer, cattle, horses, sheep and rhinoceroses. The period would have been almost totally distorted in the way it would have appeared to human beings living in today’s world. That would have been because there would have been pine trees growing in Antarctica, crocodiles taking a swim through the Arctic and beautiful palm trees all over what are now the Midwest states.
Archaeologists in Argentina have unearthed fossils which have divulged that Antarctica was once home to Colossus penguins. They were thought to have weighed around 250 pounds and stood around 6 feet 7 inches tall. These giant penguins would have been the largest species ever to wobble back and forth over the Earth.
By Kimberly Ruble