Duntroon penguin

Duntroonornis parvus Marples, 1952

Order: Sphenisciformes

Family: Spheniscidae

New Zealand status: Endemic

Conservation status: Extinct

 
 
 
Duntroon penguin. Holotype in Otago Museum, tarsometatarsus, dorsal view, registration numbers GL462, C.47.31. Duntroon, North Otago. Image © Otago Museum, Dunedin by Alan Tennyson

Duntroon penguin. Holotype in Otago Museum, tarsometatarsus, dorsal view, registration numbers GL462, C.47.31. Duntroon, North Otago. Image © Otago Museum, Dunedin by Alan Tennyson

Brian Marples (1952) created the genus Duntroonornis for a small fossil penguin tarsometatarsus he found at Duntroon, North Otago in 1944. The genus name means ‘bird from Duntroon’. The species name is from the Latin parvus for small.

The Duntroon penguin was the smallest named fossil penguin known from New Zealand, estimated to be about the size of a Fiordland crested penguin. It lived during the Late Oligocene (27-25 million years ago) and possibly through to the Early Miocene (22 million years ago).

Marples referred several other small, fragmentary penguin fossils from Duntroon to this species, including parts of a coracoid, humerus, ulna, radius and femur. More recent specimens from Hakataramea valley, South Canterbury may also be referable.

The holotype left tarsometatarsus (OM C.47.31) plus the referred material from the type description are held in Otago Museum.

References

Fordyce, R.E.; Jones, C.M. 1990. Penguin history and new fossil material from New Zealand. Pp 419-446 in Davis, L.S. & Darby, J.T. (eds) Penguin biology. San Diego, Academic Press.

Marples, B.J. 1952. Early Tertiary penguins of New Zealand. New Zealand Geological Survey, Paleontological Bulletin 20: 1-66.

Simpson, G.G. 1971. A review of the pre-Pleistocene penguins of New Zealand. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 144: 319-378.

Recommended citation

Miskelly, C.M. 2013. Duntroon penguin. In Miskelly, C.M. (ed.) New Zealand Birds Online. www.nzbirdsonline.org.nz

Duntroon penguin

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