Planet Earth

Painting a Picture of a Prehistoric Penguin Via Fossilized Feathers

80beatsBy Eliza StricklandSep 30, 2010 7:13 PM


Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

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

1 free article left
Want More? Get unlimited access for as low as $1.99/month

Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

1 free articleSubscribe
Magazine Examples
Want more?

Keep reading for as low as $1.99!


Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

More From Discover
Recommendations From Our Store
Shop Now
Stay Curious
Our List

Sign up for our weekly science updates.

To The Magazine

Save up to 70% off the cover price when you subscribe to Discover magazine.

Copyright © 2021 Kalmbach Media Co.