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Newly Found Penguin Fossils Uncover Ancestry of Little Penguins

    Little Penguins, additionally known as “Little Blue Penguins,” “Fairy Penguins,” and “Korora,” are the smallest dwelling penguins on earth. They’re the one penguins with blue feathers and are identified for being charming, cute, and clumsy on land. Phillip Island in Australia is residence to Australia’s largest Little Penguin colony which is residence to round 40,000 birds. The Phillip Island colony is a significant draw for vacationers who get pleasure from watching the “penguin parade,” whereby Little Penguins march onto the seashores every evening.

    The household tree of those lovable pint-sized penguins has lately grown because of the invention of fossilized stays belonging to an historic relative of the Little Penguin. The brand new species has been named the “Wilson’s Little Penguin,” and is believed to have been related in dimension to trendy Little Penguins. Two Wilson’s Little Penguin fossils had been discovered, the skulls of an grownup and a juvenile.

    As a result of solely skulls have been discovered, a few of the hypothesis concerning the anatomy of those historic birds are constructed on educated guesses, nevertheless it’s thought that a lot of their anatomy paralleled their surviving Little Penguin relations. The extinct birds had been discovered to have barely narrower skulls than trendy Little Penguins, however the Wilson’s Little Penguin is believed to have weighed about two kilos and stood simply over a foot tall, very like trendy Little Penguins.

    Some of the fascinating discoveries that these new fossils suggests to scientists is the truth that plainly diminutive penguins have lived in New Zealand for a minimum of three million years. The invention of the Wilson’s Little Penguin means that, regardless of thousands and thousands of years of environmental modifications, little penguins have at all times known as New Zealand their residence.

    It’s hoped that understanding the previous of the Little Penguin may be the important thing to safeguarding the way forward for this distinctive and beloved species. Whereas Little Penguins are comparatively secure as a species, a nice deal of alarm was raised final yr when greater than 500 of those birds had been discovered useless on seashores throughout New Zealand.

    It was famous on the time that local weather change poses specific challenges to this species which closely relies upon upon fish shares to outlive. Understanding the explanation why this household of penguins has managed to persist over thousands and thousands of years may present the important thing to making sure a future for Little Penguins in New Zealand and Australia.