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Re: Kairuku, giant Oligocene penguin from New Zealand

From: Ben Creisler

The paper is now out and available for free:

Daniel T. Ksepka, R. Ewan Fordyce, Tatsuro Ando & Craig M. Jones (2012)
New fossil penguins (Aves, Sphenisciformes) from the Oligocene of New
Zealand reveal the skeletal plan of stem penguins.
Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 32(2): 235-254
pdf is free:

Three skeletons collected from the late Oligocene Kokoamu Greensand of
New Zealand are among the most complete Paleogene penguins known.
These specimens, described here as Kairuku waitaki, gen. et sp. nov.,
and Kairuku grebneffi, sp. nov., reveal new details of key elements of
the stem penguin skeleton associated with underwater flight, including
the sternum, flipper, and pygostyle. Relative proportions of the
trunk, flippers, and hind limbs can now be determined from a single
individual for the first time, offering insight into the body plan of
stem penguins and improved constraints on size estimates for ‘giant’
taxa. Kairuku is characterized by an elongate, narrow sternum, a short
and flared coracoid, an elongate narrow flipper, and a robust hind
limb. The pygostyle of Kairuku lacks the derived triangular
cross-section seen in extant penguins, suggesting that the rectrices
attached in a more typical avian pattern and the tail may have lacked
the propping function utilized by living penguins. New materials
described here, along with re-study of previously described specimens,
resolve several long-standing phylogenetic, biogeographic, and
taxonomic issues stemming from the inadequate comparative material of
several of the first-named fossil penguin species. An array of partial
associated skeletons from the Eocene–Oligocene of New Zealand
historically referred to Palaeeudyptes antarcticus or Palaeeudyptes
sp. are recognized as at least five distinct species: Palaeeudyptes
antarcticus, Palaeeudyptes marplesi, Kairuku waitaki, Kairuku
grebneffi, and an unnamed Burnside Formation species.