Antarctica researchers stunned by discovery of ‘colossus' penguin that stood ...

ANTARCTICA scientists were left stunned after discovering the remains of a "colossus" penguin that roamed the barren landscape almost 40 million years ago.

PUBLISHED: 08:02, Sat, Nov 28, 2020 | UPDATED: 08:11, Sat, Nov 28, 2020

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Antarctica is the Earth’s southernmost continent, home to up to 5,000 dedicated researchers who study Earth’s history and the effects of climate change in temperatures that drop as low as -90C. The number of animals that inhabit the icy continent is also scarce – with mites, nematodes, seals and rare birds being spotted and documented over the years. By far the most common creature remains found are from the penguin – of the 17 species recorded over the years, only the emperor and Adelie inhabit the region around-the-year.

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However, the discovery of one extinct animal on Seymour Island left scientists shocked.

British Antarctic Survey Professor David Walton detailed how a team uncovered a species known as the Palaeeudyptes klekowskii that once towered more than six feet during an interview on BBC’s Radio 4 ‘In Our Time’.

He said: “As an ecologist, history is written in fossils.

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“We know there were dinosaurs there and we know there were giant penguins too – six feet tall in fact.

Scientists discovered the remains of a huge penguinScientists discovered the remains of a huge penguin (Image: GETTY)

Climate change is affecting the regionClimate change is affecting the region (Image: GETTY)

“We reconstructed a penguin from a single metatarsal that was found – it is amazing what you can do with one bone.

“So we know it was a much more interesting continent previously.”

The unearthed bones dated back 37 million years and new studies show the species could have measured almost twice the height of today's emperor penguins.

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