Monday, June 25, 2012


Experts from New Zealand and the United States have reconstructed the fossil skeleton of one of the giant sea birds for the first time, revealing long wings, a slender build and a spear-like bill that have them describing it as one elegant bird. In research published this week in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, the scientists say the bird they have dubbed Kairuku — Maori for “diver who returns with food” — stood about 4 feet 2 inches tall and had a body shape unique from any previously known penguin, living or extinct. Kairuku lived in the Oligocene period, about 26 million years ago.

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