Early Tertiary penguins of New Zealand (print copy)

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Marples, B.J. 1952 Early Tertiary penguins of New Zealand. Wellington: Government Printer. New Zealand Geological Survey paleontological bulletin 20 66, [16] p.

Abstract: Three species of fossil penguins have previously been described from New Zealand on the basis of only a few bones. In the present paper much new material is described, including the major parts of several skeletons. These are unique in including a pelvis, a clavicle which has a hypocleidium, and patellae, and there are also fragments of a skull and the anterior region of a sternum. Four new genera and five new species are proposed, Platydyptes novaezealandia (Oliver), Platydyptes amiesi, Archaeospheniscus lowei, Archaeospheniscus lopdelli, Duntroonornis parvus and Korora oliveri. Additional specimens which are attributed to previously described species add much new information. A comparison is made between the fossil penguins of New Zealand and the Recent species. They differ in the shape of the humerus, which is more primitive in the Tertiary species, and in the type of articulation between the coracoid and the sternum, as well as in minor details. Other Tertiary fossils from Seymour Island and South Australia resemble those from New Zealand, and it is proposed to place them all in a subfamily Palaeeudyptinae, in contrast to the Recent Spheniscinae. The great majority of the fossil penguins from Patagonia are much closer to the Spheniscine than to the Palaeeudyptine type. All fossil penguins have been held to be of Miocene age. Recent studies indicate that the majority of the specimens from New Zealand are from the lower Oligocene, and that the span covered by the specimens is from the middle Oligocene as far back as the lower Eocene. Though the Palaeeudyptinae appear to be older and more primitive that other penguins, they throw little light on the origin of the group. (auth)

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