27 nov. 2020
Crossvallia is an extinct genus of penguin that lived in Oceania and Antarctica during the Paleocene epoch. It was one of multiple species of large penguins that roamed these continents just after the extinction of the dinosaurs. These large penguins were able to occupy niches in the marine environment which were once occupied by predatory fish and reptiles that went extinct together with the dinosaurs. The feet of Crossvallia show that they played an even bigger role in swimming compared to modern day penguins.
Oceania and Antarctica
The genus of Crossvallia consists of two species of which C. waiparensis was described in 2019 from fossils found in New Zealand. The species stood 1.6 meters high and weighed about 70 - 80 kg! It probably had a long beak and used it to hunt for fish in the ocean. It had to come to shore to breed, like modern day penguins.
Mayr et al. 2020
Mayr, G., De Pietri, V. L., Love, L., Mannering, A., & Scofield, R. P. (2020). Leg bones of a new penguin species from the Waipara Greensand add to the diversity of very large-sized Sphenisciformes in the Paleocene of New Zealand. Alcheringa: An Australasian Journal of Palaeontology, 44(1), 194-201.