Fossils in New Zealand have led to the discovery of a new species of giant penguin that could grow up to 1.6 meters tall. The penguin's closest relative is another giant penguin that was found in Antarctica.
Scientists on Wednesday said the fossilized remains of a giant human-sized penguin have been found on New Zealand's South Island.
The huge seabird was up to 1.6 meters (63 inches) tall and weighed up to 80 kilograms, some four times heavier and 40 centimeters taller than the modern-day Emperor penguin, researchers said.
After the remains were discovered by an amateur paleontologist in 2018, a team from the Canterbury Museum and the Senckenberg Natural History Museum in Frankfurt, Germany, analyzed the bones and found they belonged to the previously unknown penguin species Crossvallia waiparensis.
The penguin hunted off New Zealand's coast in the Paleocene era, 66-56 million years ago.
The research identifying the new species was published this week in Alcheringa: An Australasian Journal of Palaeontology.
The closest known relative of the new species is the Crossvallia unienwillia, which lived around the same time and was identified from a fossilized partial skeleton found in the Cross Valley in Antarctica in 2000.