Planet Earth

Painting a Picture of a Prehistoric Penguin Via Fossilized Feathers

80beatsBy Eliza StricklandSep 30, 2010 7:13 PM
penguin-feathers.jpg

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From Ed Yong:

All modern penguins wear a suit of black feathers, but prehistoric members of the group didn’t go for the dinner jacket look. A newly discovered penguin, known as Inkayacu, was dressed in grey and reddish-brown hues.

...

It is neither the oldest nor the largest penguin fossil, it doesn’t hail from a new part of the world, and it provides few clues about the group’s evolution. However, it does have one stand-out feature that probably secured its unveiling in the pages of Science – its feathers.

Read about Inkayacu's magnificently preserved fossil feathers and what they tell us about this prehistoric bird at Not Exactly Rocket Science

. Ed also has the artists' renderings of what this powerful penguin may have looked like. Related Content: 80beats: What Color Were Feathered Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Birds?

80beats: Emperor Penguins May Be Marching to Extinction by 2100

80beats: Researchers Use Feather “Fingerprints” to Track Penguins

Discoblog: The Mystery of the Macaroni Penguin and the Bad Egg

Discoblog: To Track Penguins, Scientists Use High-Tech Satellite Images of…Droppings

Image: Science / AAAS

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