March of the Fossil Penguins

Fossil penguin discoveries and research

Peruvian fossil whales (and a penguin)

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A new paper in Journal of Paleontology by Mark Uhen, Nicholas Pyenson, Tom  DeVries, Mario Urbina, and Paul Renne highlights some exciting Peruvian fossils, including the oldest whales from South America.  I’ve had great times in the field in Peru with the first four authors, on a joint expedition hunting for penguins and whales.  Two new whale species are among the finds, and they prove that whales were able to travel widely around the Southern Hemisphere even before becoming fully pelagic.  Some amazing artwork accompanies the story, with a cameo by the Peruvian fossil penguin Icadyptes.  Get more on the story by Nick Pyenson at the Smithsonian’s Ocean Portal Blog.


Icadyptes the giant penguin swimming alongside some Peruvian fossil whales. Whales, top to bottom are an unnamed protocetid, Ocucajea picklingi, and Supayacetus muizoni. Art by Carl Buell ( Click for the associated article by Dr. Nick Pyenson.



Written by Dan Ksepka

September 14, 2011 at 8:00 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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