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Planet Earth

A 70-Million-Year March of the Penguins

The LoomBy Carl ZimmerOctober 11, 2005 7:28 AM


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I've got a piece in tomorrow's New York Times on new research into the evolution of penguins. There's new work going on with penguin DNA and penguin fossils, such as this lovely 60-million-year old critter from New Zealand. It stood upright like living penguins, but still had wings it could bend at the elbow. In other words, just what you'd expect as flying ancestors evolved into full-blown penguins. While it's amusing to have a little fun with pundits who try to use penguins as role models for family values, writing about real science is always more satisfying. (This picture is copyright the University of Otago Geology Department).

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