Monster penguin once swam NZ waters

The fossilised remains of a giant penguin have been found in New Zealand.
The fossilised remains of a giant penguin have been found in New Zealand.

New Zealand scientists say they've found fossilised bones from an extinct monster penguin that was about the size of a human and swam the oceans some 60 million years ago.

They say the previously undiscovered species is believed to have stood about 1.6 metres tall and weighed up to 80 kilograms.

It's believed to have been one of several species of giant penguins that thrived soon after dinosaurs died out.

The findings were published this week in "Alcheringa: An Australasian Journal of Palaeontology."

Paul Scofield, a co-author and senior curator at the Canterbury Museum, says the discovery is significant because the species is similar to another giant penguin found in Antarctica and helps connect the two regions during that era.

Australian Associated Press