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Ancient NZ penguin was as tall as a human – Expert Reaction

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on December 13th, 2017.

A fossil penguin discovered in New Zealand has been identified as a new species and it was so tall it was about the height of an adult man. Kumimanu biceae weighed in at around 100 kg and about 177 cm in height, which might have been the largest penguin to ever live. And dated to between 60-55 […]

Tūhoe and scientists collaborate on dinosaur hunt – In the news

Laura Goodall posted in on July 7th, 2016.

Ngāi Tūhoe and palaeontologists have teamed up to go digging for dinosaurs and understand more about how these animals lived in New Zealand. The research will focus on searching for fossil remains in streams that flow through Te Urewera National Park, which is managed by Ngāi Tūhoe. “They’re leading the project,” palaeontologist James Crampton from GNS Science […]

Fossil find uncovers possible hobbit ancestor – In the news

John Kerr posted in on June 9th, 2016.

Fossilised remains of small-bodied hominins found on the Indonesian island of Flores have been dated to around 700,000 years old and are believed to be the ancestors of the mysterious and diminutive Homo floresiensis – AKA the hobbit. Two papers published today in the journal Nature describe and date the remains as well as animal […]

Forgotten bones lead to ancient penguin species

John Kerr posted in on November 28th, 2014.

Both the New Zealand Herald and Radio New Zealand have today covered the story of a newly identified species of ancient giant penguin, based on fossils found in a old storage shed. An excerpt from the New Zealand Herald (read in full here): A giant ancient penguin far taller than any species alive today has […]

NZ’s early natural history in Scientific American

John Kerr posted in on November 15th, 2012.

Freelance geologist David Bressan, blogging for Scientific American, writes about the early investigations into ‘giant birds’ reported by European settlers in New Zealand. An excerpt (read in full here): Ka ngaro i te ngaro a te Moa Strange stories of strange birds and even stranger fossils were coming from the end of the world during […]

Fossils reveal giant prehistoric NZ penguin

John Kerr posted in on February 29th, 2012.

Fossils found on the East coast of New Zealand have been used to reconstruct the skeleton of an extinct prehistoric penguin, believed to be far heavier and taller than modern penguins. The giant penguins  stood 1.3 metres tall – 30 cm taller than its nearest modern-day rival, the Emperor Penguin, of Antarctica. With its spear-like […]

Coverage: DNA extracted from fossil eggshells

Peter Griffin posted in on March 10th, 2010.

For the first time, DNA has been successfully extracted from fossilized eggshells, with some of the fragments being from moa. The international team, which included scientists from the University of Otago, published the paper in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.    Previous attempts to perform this kind of extraction had been unsuccessful, and it is […]

Dom Post: The fascinating world of fossil finding

Peter Griffin posted in on February 17th, 2010.

Kiran Chug of the Dominion Post reports on a new book, written by GNS scientists, which tells people where to hunt for fossils in New Zealand – according to its authors, fossil locations are particularly accessible here. The book launch was timed to coincide with the exhibition NZ Fossils: Dead Precious currently on show at […]

Oldest turtle fossil uncovered in China

Dacia Herbulock posted in on November 27th, 2008.

A 220 million year-old fossil is stirring debate over the evolutionary origin of turtles. Turtles have a completely unique body design that has remained almost unchanged for millions of years. Paleontologists have long been interested in how the turtle’s shell evolved, but there were few clues in the fossil record. Up to this point, the […]

New feathered dinosaur found

Dacia Herbulock posted in on October 23rd, 2008.

A feathered but flightless dinosaur is a bizarre new addition to the fossil record showing the early history of the evolution of birds. Paleontologists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences announced the discovery of Epidexipteryx hui in today’s edition of the journal Nature. The pigeon-sized fossil predates Archeopteryx, and lacks any form of flight feathers.  […]

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