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Re: Kairuku, giant Oligocene penguin from New Zealand

Totally disagree. First off, penguins ARE dinosaurs, of course. The trees
paper has to do with primary productivity in the Cretaceous, which has
very important bearing on the issue of dinosaur biology and ecology.

It isn't like these were trilobite or bryozoan papers... :-)

On Tue, February 28, 2012 7:25 pm, Paul P wrote:
> 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 â??giantâ??
>> 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 Eoceneâ??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

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Email: tholtz@umd.edu   Phone: 301-405-4084
Office: Centreville 1216
Senior Lecturer, Vertebrate Paleontology
Dept. of Geology, University of Maryland
Fax: 301-314-9661

Faculty Director, Science & Global Change Program, College Park Scholars
Fax: 301-314-9843

Mailing Address:        Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
                        Department of Geology
                        Building 237, Room 1117
                        University of Maryland
                        College Park, MD 20742 USA