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Re: Kairuku, giant Oligocene penguin from New Zealand

Ichthyosaurs, penguins, non-archosaurian Triassic amniotes, 
sabretooths, trees.... I have nothing against any of 
these non-dinosaurian life forms, but unless this list 
is renamed, e.g. the Mesozoic list, these things are all 
borderline off-topic. The vertpaleo list would be more 
appropriate for that stuff. Thanks. 

--- On Tue, 2/28/12, Ben Creisler <bcreisler@gmail.com> wrote:

> From: Ben Creisler <bcreisler@gmail.com>
> Subject: Re: Kairuku, giant Oligocene penguin from New Zealand
> To: dinosaur@usc.edu
> Date: Tuesday, February 28, 2012, 5:20 PM
> From: Ben Creisler
> bcreisler@gmail.com
> 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
> DOI:10.1080/02724634.2012.652051
> http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02724634.2012.652051
> pdf is free:
> http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/02724634.2012.652051
> 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.
> ---------
> http://fossilpenguins.wordpress.com/
> http://www.physorg.com/news/2012-02-scientists-full-prehistoric-zealand-penguin.html