Friday, November 21, 2008

Researchers stumble upon new penguin species

Researchers have stumbled upon the remains of a previously unknown species of penguin that pre-dates the Polynesian settlement of New Zealand nearly half a century ago.

Australian and New Zealand researchers, from the University of Adelaide and the University of Otago, were studying fossils they believed to be of the more commonly known, and now endangered, yellow-eyed penguin when DNA tests revealed they actually belonged to a new species, the Waitaha penguin.

"In the process of studying yellow-eyed penguins we accidentally discovered this extinct species, which looks like it was unique to the south island of New Zealand," Dr. Jeremy Austin a senior researcher at the Australian Center for Ancient DNA, University of Adelaide told Reuters.

Source: Reuters

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