There Used To Be Mega Penguins The Size Of Humans

Step aside emperors, penguins have got a new king.

1. Scientists have found fossils of the biggest penguin ever discovered.

Electra-K-Vasileiadou

Sadly now extinct, Palaeeudyptes klekowskii lived between 37 and 40 million years ago and would have been much bigger than the biggest emperor penguins we have today.

The mega penguin was 2 metres from beak to toe and would have weighed around 115kg (250lbs). Because penguins have long beaks that contribute to their length, it would actually have stood at approximately 1.6 metres, which is the average height of a woman in the U.K.

Emperor penguins are the largest living penguins, typically reaching only 1.2 metres tall and weighing just 40kg.

2. Obviously there are no pictures of the mega penguin, so here are some smaller, modern penguins falling over.

(Scientists don’t yet know whether the mega penguin would have been any better at staying upright.)

3. The fossil was found on Seymour Island in Antarctica.

Carolina Acosta Hospitaleche and Marcelo Reguero / Via sciencedirect.com

Thousands of penguin fossils have been found at the site before, but this is the best preserved of the era. Earlier this year, scientist Carolina Acosta Hospitaleche from La Plata Museum in Argentina published a paper detailing the bones shown in the above image. A new paper adds two bigger bones to give an even better picture and allow Hospitaleche to estimate the penguin’s size.

4. Come at me, mega penguin.

5. via New Scientist

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Kelly Oakes is science editor for BuzzFeed and is based in London.
 
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