Paleontologists working at Argentina’s Natural Sciences Museum of La Plata province found the fossil remains of an ancient penguin taller than most men. The bird stood six and half feet tall, and lived roughly 34 million years ago. The team’s lead researcher, Marcelo Reguero said the newly discovered species will “allow for a more intensive and complex study of the ancestors of modern penguins.”
“This is the largest penguin known to date in terms of height and body mass,” said team member Carolina Acosta. She also noted that the modern emperor penguin, which grows to about 4 feet tall had been the previous record holder.
The fossil was located on the icy continent of Antarctica; the team plans to return during the region’s summer to attempt to uncover more fossils from the ancient bird as well as study how it would have moved. Notably, past studies of other prehistoric penguins suggested that they were not black and white like the bird of today, but instead sported reddish brown and gray plumage.