Giant penguins waddled with dinosaurs, claim scientists, according to articles in ScienceDaily, Stuff (NZ) 23 February 2017, and The Science of Nature doi: 10.1007/s00114-017-1441-0, published online 23 February 2017. Scientists from New Zealand and Germany have studied the fossil leg and foot bones of a giant penguin, discovered in the Waipara Greensand of New Zealand. From the size of the bones scientists estimated the penguin would have been 1.5m (4ft 11in) tall. This is taller than the largest living penguin, the Emperor Penguin, and almost as large as a fossilised giant penguin named Anthropornis nordenskjoeldi found in Antarctica. According to Paul Scofield of Canterbury Museum, one of the research team, “It’s one of a small group of truly giant penguins.”
The new fossil is dated as 61 million years old, which makes it amongst the oldest of any penguin fossils found, and much older than the Antarctic giant penguin, which is dated as 33-45 million years. Another scientist, Gerald Mayr of Senckenberg Research Institute, commented: “This shows that penguins reached an enormous size quite early in their evolutionary history, around 60 million years ago.”
The new fossil has not yet been given a name as only a small part of the skeleton has been found, but the fossil bones are sufficiently different from other penguin fossils found in the same region for the scientists to conclude that penguins must have started to evolve at a much earlier date than previously believed. Gerald Mayr explained: “The discoveries show that penguin diversity in the early Paleocene was clearly higher than we previously assumed. In turn, this diversity indicates that the first representatives of penguins already arose during the age of dinosaurs, more than 65 million years ago.”
The structure of the newly found fossil bones indicates this penguin had the same waddling gait as living penguins have. Paul Scofield commented: “This particular specimen looks very, very similar to modern penguins.”
In their report the scientists also commented: “Why giant species disappeared towards the Neogene remains elusive, but the evolution of odontocete whales was considered as a factor that contributed to their demise.”
Editorial Comment: We also have no doubt the penguins lived alongside dinosaurs, but not for the reasons given by these researchers. Note the difference between the actual findings and the evolutionary speculations in the report. The facts: ‘the fossil penguin leg and foot bones are “very, very similar to modern penguins” but larger than living penguins.’ This was undeniably a fully formed penguin that shows no evidence of ever having been any other kind of bird.
Fact: ‘present day penguins are smaller’ Best conclusion: the only change that has happened to penguins since this fossil was formed is that penguins have become smaller. And that’s not evolution.
Odonocete whales are toothed whales, including dolphins, porpoises and killer whales, and they may have had a role in the demise of giant penguins, but not because they had just evolved. Penguins and whales were made on the same creation day, were both designed to eat plants and live in peaceful co-existence in a very good world with no killing or predation. However, when the environment degenerated due to human sin and God’s judgement, many animals, including sea creatures, became aggressive hunters, and like most hunters, the whales went for the bigger ones first – soon killing off the large penguins, leaving only the smaller ones to survive and reproduce. Selection, yes. Evolution no!
Evidence News vol. 17, No. 2
7 March 2017
Creation Research Australia
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