March of the Fossil Penguins

Fossil penguin discoveries and research

Archive for October 2012

Happy Halloween from March of the Fossil Penguins

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This year’s best costume award goes to Inkayacu in steampunk explorer mode.  Several years ago, while Julia Clarke and I were planning illustrations for the paper describing Inkayacu, the multi-talented  Katie Browne (artist and paleontology student) sketched a mock-up of the general shape of the penguin.  Sometimes, when you work too late fossil animals start getting jetpacks and top hats (it has happened before, I’ll admit). Here is the result:

Inkayacu may knock on your door this Halloween- make sure to stock up on anchovies and flying squid! Artwork courtesy of Katie Browne.

Written by Dan Ksepka

October 31, 2012 at 12:10 am

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The Strangest Bird at Scientific American

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In this month’s issue of Scientific American, Dr. Ewan Fordyce and I present a new article on penguin evolution.  I won’t spoil the story, but I will post a teaser of several fossil species brought to life with wonderful realism by artist Stephanie Abramowicz.  Astute blog readers may be able to pick out a few favorite species based on their sizes and shapes. If you want to guess each one, I will let you know if you are right in the comments thread. Thanks to Kate Wong for editing our article, and hope you all enjoy it.

Subscribers can check out the story at the Scientific American website. If you don’t have online access, please head to the newsstand to grab a copy.


A preview of the fantastic penguin reconstructions from our article. Art from a larger graphic by Stephanie Abramowicz, posted with permission from Scientific American.

Full citation:

Fordyce, R.E. and D.T. Ksepka. The Strangest Bird Scientific American 307, 56 – 61 (2012)

Written by Dan Ksepka

October 22, 2012 at 5:52 pm

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