A huge penguin almost the size of an adult human has been identified from fossils found in New Zealand's South Island, scientists announced Wednesday, August 14th, according to AFP.
Evidence of the giant bird, which is about 1.6 metres (63 inches) high and weighed 80 kilograms, about four times heavier and 40cm taller than the modern Emperor penguin, was discovered in Waipara by amateur palaeontologist Leigh Love in 2018.
This discovery was confirmed as a new species in research published this week in "Alcheringa: An Australasian Journal of Palaeontology".
Named "crossvallia waiparensis", it hunted off New Zealand's coast in the Paleocene era, 66-56 million years ago.
Canterbury Museum researcher Vanesa De Pietri said it was the second giant penguin from the Paleocene era found in the area.
"It further reinforces our theory that penguins attained great size early in their evolution," she said.
New Zealand is well known for its extinct giant birds, including the flightless moa, which was up to 3.6 metres tall, and Haast's eagle, which had a wingspan of three metres.