March of the Fossil Penguins

Fossil penguin discoveries and research

A Map for Our Tour of the Penguin Skeleton

with 8 comments

One of the new themes that has appeared on March of the Fossil Penguins is a tour of the penguin skeleton – looking at each bone and discussing how it is different from flying birds.  A map might be handy, so here is a King Penguin (Aptenodytes patagonicus) skeleton with the bones we’ll visit labeled.  Check the list below the image, and I will link in each bone as new posts occur.

Learn more about the:


Cervical Vertebrae

Thoracic Vertebrae







Manual Phalanges



Pedal Phalanges

Written by Dan Ksepka

October 4, 2011 at 12:04 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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8 Responses

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  1. Get an up-front picture


    November 7, 2013 at 5:41 pm

  2. […] Notice how small the femur is. Source: […]

  3. […] The short answer: Yes! Penguins have knees. In fact, all birds have knees, but the knee joint is located in the upper portion of the leg where zaburzenia erekcji pl you might normally think the hip is. Take a look at the image below; notice the knees highlighted in the green boxes. The knees are highlighted by the green squares. Source: Penguins’ leg anatomy is very similar to ours; they all have femurs, knees, tibia and fibula. Their legs are quite long relative to the their overall size; but it only looks like they are short and stubby because the upper leg is hidden underneath a thick layer of feathers. This keeps their legs warm in the frigid South Pole temperatures. Look at the image below. Do you see how short the penguin’s femur is? Also, notice the location of the knee at the left end of the femur. The hip joint is on the right end of the femur, above the tail. Notice how small the femur is. Source: […]

  4. this Photo was taked by you? I wanna know about citation of this photo!

    YS Shin

    December 20, 2019 at 12:48 am

  5. How many bones in total does a penguin ha é exactly. This seems to be something I can’t find the answer to anywhere

    Niamh Egerton

    September 13, 2020 at 7:53 am

    • Sorry to reply many months late, but the I suppose the answer depends if you count bones of the cranium that all fuse together in adults separately or as one. I would say let’s treat the skull as just two bones (cranium and mandible) and you’ve got about 130 bones total.

      Dan Ksepka

      February 12, 2021 at 3:28 pm

    • Total bones in a penguin is 112.

      Thomas Garrett

      November 21, 2022 at 9:15 pm

  6. Total bones in a penguin is 112.

    Thomas Garrett

    November 21, 2022 at 9:16 pm

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