Giant Extinct Penguin Loses His Tuxedo

11/18/2010 06:33:00 PM ·

A penguin with a tuxedo is like a zebra without its stripes, but the mega penguins of the late Eocine preferred less formal attire. Studies show penguins may not have always been black and white. Instead, they were cloaked in reds, browns, and grays. Seems like a more hip penguin than the uppity ones we see today.

Aside from painting a more accurate picture of ancient aquatic avifauna, analysis of ancient pigment-giving particles can provide clues about feather—and the animal's—evolution.

The newly described species on which the fossil feathers were found, Inkayacu paracasensis, lived some 36 million years ago in what is now Peru.

Click on the bird, courtesy of Katie Browne/U.T. Austin , for the full article.

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