Penguins

  • A new genomic study has homed in on exactly when and where modern penguins originated, suggesting the birds first appeared in Australian and New Zealand waters about 22 million years ago before later spreading south into the cooler Antarctic waters.
  • A team of scientists from the British Antarctic Survey has used satellite imagery of penguin poop captured by ESA's Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission to calculate there are 20 percent more emperor penguin colonies in Antarctica than previously thought.
  • New Zealand was not only home to prehistoric giant parrots, but monster penguins as well. A set of bones found at the Waipara Greensand fossil site in 2018 have been confirmed as belonging to a new species of extinct penguin standing 1.6 m (5.2 ft) and weighing up to 80 kg (176 lb).
  • ​Scientists have discovered a massive “supercolony” of penguins in Antarctica by identifying dark guano stains in NASA satellite imagery. Following a visit to the site, the team used a specialized drone-assisted system to count the population, revealing a stunning 1.5 million Adélie Penguins.
  • Scientists have discovered that the waters off New Zealand were once the home of a penguin so large it could look a human in the eye. The 60 million year old remains of the flightless bird was one of the largest penguins ever found, standing 1.77 m (70 in) and weighing over 100 kg (220 lb).
  • Quick: What does a [insert sea creature here] like for lunch? Peanut butter and jellyfish sandwiches, of course. While you could insert sharks, swordfish and tuna in that joke, up until recently, you would have left penguins out because no one thought they ate jellyfish. Turns out, we've been wrong.