A review of the pre-Pliocene penguins of New Zealand. Bulletin of the AMNH ; v. 144, article 5

Supplemental Materials
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
New York : [American Museum of Natural History]
"The first fossil penguin to be made known, Palaeeudyptes antarcticus, was described from New Zealand by Thomas Henry Huxley in 1859. The many other pre-Pliocene penguins found in New Zealand after that date were monographed by Professor B.J. Marples in 1952. They are here systematically reviewed, with references to previous illustrations and substantive publications, and new data and illustrations are provided. Pre-Pliocene penguins have been found in New Zealand at ten localities or collecting areas. The generically unidentifiable specimen from Gore Bay, previously considered to be from the early Eocene and the oldest known penguin, is in fact Oligocene or early Miocene in age. The oldest known penguins are Pachydyptes ponderosus, Palaeeudyptes marplesi, and Palaeeudyptes sp. from the late Eocene. Other known New Zealand penguins range through the Oligocene and perhaps early Miocene. Within the range late Eocene-early Miocene many specimens are of undeterminable precise age. The reported great range, Kaiatan-Waitakian for the single species Palaeeudyptes antarcticus is not substantiated. The known pre-Pliocene New Zealand penguins are classified in six genera, Palaeeudyptes, Pachydyptes, Platydyptes, Archaeospheniscus, Duntroonornis, and Korora, with nine named species, of which ?Platydyptes marplesi is here new. Among fairly numerous specimens referred to Palaeeudyptes, only the two specific holotypes are considered definitely identifiable to species on the basis of present knowledge. It is unlikely that any of the known genera were ancestral to Recent penguins. Previous attempts at subfamily classification are unsatisfactory, and subfamilies are abandoned here. The New Zealand forms show some, but limited resemblances to the penguin faunas of each of the other three regions where fossils of this family have been found; southern Australia, Seymour Island, and Argentine Patagonia. The largest fossil penguin, Pachydyptes ponderosus, was probably at least 50 per cent taller than the largest Recent penguin and probably weighed about 100 kilograms. In general, known fossil penguins average considerably larger than Recent penguins in the same latitudes. Recent penguins tend to be larger in higher latitudes or colder environments, but there are adaptations to climate other than size and these may be more crucial. Eocene-Miocene penguins did not follow the size-temperature regression of Recent penguins and must have had dissimilar heat regulation. However, all the basic locomotory adaptations of the Spheniscidae were virtually complete in the late Eocene, and the origin of the family must have been much earlier. No earlier, possibly relevant fossils occur in the extremely poor fossil record of birds in the Southern Hemisphere"--P. 376.
p. 321-378 : ill., map ; 27 cm.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 376-378).