Written by IainB
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Friday, 1 October 2010

image for Paleontologists uncover a fossil of a giant penguin
[Ed: next time get an artist who can give an artists impression of a penguin]

Scientists in Peru have uncovered a fossil of a giant penguin.

The monstrous bird was the size of a modern day emu, but quite obviously a penguin from the body shape, wing design and perfectly preserved bow-tie.

"It is a remarkable specimen," said Christine Waddle, who has led the team in South America. "It is so well preserved we have been able to work out that it was brown. This might indicate that either the tuxedo evolved later, or it is a juvenile and the adults were bigger still."

At first, it was assumed that the giant penguin, nicknamed Pedro, was a relative of the terror bird, which roamed South America around the same time, but it now appears to be a direct ancestor of modern day Humboldt penguins.

We imagine that this bird could dive to several hundred feet," said Waddle. "If it dived at all, it might have lived in rivers. Until we find a specimen with a squid in its stomach, we'll never know."

Peru, thirty million years ago next Tuesday, was a place populated by giant birds, that all vanished unexpectedly and were replaced by much smaller versions.

"The Terror bird became the modern day parrot," said Waddle. "It is the same with this giant penguin."

Most adults would agree that there is a natural inclination for penguins to get smaller, as they remember being children and the chocolate biscuit was large enough to sleep on, whereas these days they are the size of a tooth.

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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