March of the Fossil Penguins

Fossil penguin discoveries and research

Wandering Penguin

with 4 comments

Penguins are great wanderers.  Many species travel hundreds or even thousands of miles in the course of a year moving between feeding grounds and breeding colonies. And sometimes, they get lost.  That’s what happened to an Antarctic Emperor Penguin that turned up in New Zealand this week.  Apparently the young bird is doing well, except that it has eaten some sand.  While getting lost is usually bad for individual penguins, their penchant for roaming has benefited them over evolutionary time.  In the past 60 million years, penguins have bounced between continents to form new colonies more than 20 times.  As such wide dispersals often lead to speciation, we have wanderlust (or poor navigation) to thank for the diversity of penguin species we enjoy today.

An Emperor Penguin that made it to New Zealand. Click to link back to the original article.

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Written by Dan Ksepka

June 22, 2011 at 9:57 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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4 Responses

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  1. The lost penguin has been moved to the Wellington Zoo, due to growing concerns over its health.


    June 25, 2011 at 8:36 am

  2. […] Happy Feet, the Emperor Penguin who got lost and ended up in New Zealand, has been released back into the ocean.  People the world over are hoping he will make his way back to his natural home in Antarctica.  You can track his progress (monitored by a satellite transmitor attached to his tail) at: Advertisement LD_AddCustomAttr("AdOpt", "0"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Origin", "other"); LD_AddCustomAttr("theme_bg", "ffffff"); LD_AddCustomAttr("theme_border", "f3f3f3"); LD_AddCustomAttr("theme_text", "1c1c1c"); LD_AddCustomAttr("theme_link", "004276"); LD_AddCustomAttr("theme_url", "cc0000"); LD_AddCustomAttr("LangId", "1"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Autotag", "travel"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Autotag", "movies"); LD_AddCustomAttr("Autotag", "entertainment"); LD_AddSlot("wpcom_below_post"); LD_GetBids(); Like this:LikeBe the first to like this post. […]

  3. […] breeding grounds, and a few random individuals always end up on the wrong continent annually (like New Zealand’s stray Emperor Penguin).  Because of these penguin proclivities, it is hard to be sure whether adult fossil penguin bones […]

  4. […] to find on land.  However, it can get penguins in trouble in the wrong environment, as we saw when Happy Feat the stray Emperor Penguin tried to eat some sand thinking it was snow.  In the video below, you can see a Chinstrap […]

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