Newly Found Penguin Fossils Uncover Ancestry of Little Penguins


Little Penguins, additionally known as “Little Blue Penguins,” “Fairy Penguins,” and “Korora,” are the smallest dwelling penguins on earth. They’re the one penguins with blue feathers and are recognized for being charming, cute, and clumsy on land. Phillip Island in Australia is dwelling to Australia’s largest Little Penguin colony which is dwelling to round 40,000 birds. The Phillip Island colony is a serious draw for vacationers who get pleasure from watching the “penguin parade,” whereby Little Penguins march onto the seashores every evening.

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The household tree of those lovable pint-sized penguins has just lately grown because of the invention of fossilized stays belonging to an historical relative of the Little Penguin. The brand new species has been named the “Wilson’s Little Penguin,” and is believed to have been related in dimension to fashionable Little Penguins. Two Wilson’s Little Penguin fossils have been discovered, the skulls of an grownup and a juvenile.

As a result of solely skulls have been discovered, among the hypothesis relating to the anatomy of those historical birds are constructed on educated guesses, nonetheless it’s thought that a lot of their anatomy paralleled their surviving Little Penguin relations. The extinct birds have been discovered to have barely narrower skulls than fashionable Little Penguins, however the Wilson’s Little Penguin is assumed to have weighed about two kilos and stood simply over a foot tall, very like fashionable Little Penguins.

One of the attention-grabbing discoveries that these new fossils suggests to scientists is the truth that evidently diminutive penguins have lived in New Zealand for at the least three million years. The invention of the Wilson’s Little Penguin means that, regardless of thousands and thousands of years of environmental modifications, little penguins have all the time known as New Zealand their dwelling.

It’s hoped that understanding the previous of the Little Penguin may be the important thing to safeguarding the way forward for this distinctive and beloved species. Whereas Little Penguins are comparatively secure as a species, a nice deal of alarm was raised final yr when greater than 500 of those birds have been discovered lifeless on seashores throughout New Zealand.

It was famous on the time that local weather change poses explicit challenges to this species which closely relies upon upon fish shares to outlive. Understanding the explanation why this household of penguins has managed to persist over thousands and thousands of years may present the important thing to making sure a future for Little Penguins in New Zealand and Australia.

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