Lopdells' penguin

Archaeospheniscus lopdellorum Marples, 1952

Order: Sphenisciformes

Family: Spheniscidae

New Zealand status: Endemic

Conservation status: Extinct

Other names: Lopdells penguin, Lopdell's penguin

 
 
 
Lopdells' penguin. Holotype in Otago Museum, tarsometatarsus 5.5 cm long, registration numbers GL428, C.47.21. Duntroon, Otago. Image © Otago Museum, Dunedin by Alan Tennyson

Lopdells' penguin. Holotype in Otago Museum, tarsometatarsus 5.5 cm long, registration numbers GL428, C.47.21. Duntroon, Otago. Image © Otago Museum, Dunedin by Alan Tennyson

Brian Marples (1952) created the genus Archaeospheniscus to include two previously undescribed New Zealand fossil penguin species: Lowe’s penguin and Lopdell’s penguin. A third species from Seymour Island, off the Antarctic Peninsula, has since been added. The genus name means old penguin.

The New Zealand Archaeospheniscus penguins were large penguins of the Late Oligocene (27-25 million years ago). All the specimens referred to both species were found at Duntroon, North Otago. It is possible that they are all referable to a single species of variable size.

Lopdell’s penguin was the larger of the two Archaeospheniscus species, and was probably of similar size to an emperor penguin. It was described from a nearly complete skeleton found by Brian Marples in 1943. The holotype (OM C.47.21) is held in Otago Museum.

The species name honours Dr and Mrs J.C. Lopdell who assisted Marples with field work and specimen preparation.

Weblinks

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archaeospheniscus

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archaeospheniscus_lopdelli

References

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.

Tennyson, A.J.D.; Palma, R.L.; Scofield, R.P.; Worthy, T.H. 2010. Emending the species name for Lopdells’ penguin. Notornis 57: 54-55.

Recommended citation

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

Lopdells' penguin

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