Mannering's penguin

Waimanu manneringi Jones, Ando & Fordyce, 2006

Order: Sphenisciformes

Family: Spheniscidae

New Zealand status: Endemic

Conservation status: Extinct

Other names: Mannerings penguin

 
 
 
Mannering's penguin. Composite skeleton (with Waipara penguin) including the holotype right leg and pelvis, Canterbury Museum zfa35. Waipara Greensand, Waipara River, Canterbury. Image © Alan Tennyson by Alan Tennyson

Mannering's penguin. Composite skeleton (with Waipara penguin) including the holotype right leg and pelvis, Canterbury Museum zfa35. Waipara Greensand, Waipara River, Canterbury. Image © Alan Tennyson by Alan Tennyson

Mannering’s penguin is the oldest penguin fossil known. It was described from a single associated part skeleton (nine bones) recovered from late Early Paleocene (61.6 - 60.5 million-year-old) sedimentary deposits along the Waipara River, North Canterbury. It was a large penguin, similar in size to an emperor penguin, and was described at the same time as the congeneric Waipara penguin. The two Waimanu penguin species are considered basal to all other penguins, and differed in their long, slender beaks (as found in other basal penguins) and relatively longer legs. The four Waimanu specimens are some of the oldest well-preserved Neornithine birds, and indicate that penguins split from related forms before the end of the Cretaceous epoch. There is ongoing debate over whether these ancient birds should be included in the same family as modern penguins.

The holotype (CMNZ zfa 35) is held in Canterbury Museum and comprises an almost complete right tibiotarsus, proximal right fibula, right tarsometatarsus, right pelvis, synsacrum (fused with the last three thoracic vertebrae) and four caudal vertebrae. The tarsometatarsus is 78 mm long, compared to 65 mm for Waipara penguin.

Waimanu is Māori for water bird; the species name honours Al Mannering, who found the type specimen.

Weblinks

http://www.otago.ac.nz/geology/research/paleontology/waimanu.html

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

http://fossilpenguins.wordpress.com/2010/01/30/waimanu-the-first-penguin/

 

References

Jones, C. M.; Mannering, A. 1997. New Paleocene fossil bird material from the Waipara Greensand, North Canterbury, New Zealand. Geological Society of New Zealand miscellaneous publication 95a: 88.

Slack, K.E.; Jones, C.M.; Ando, T.; Harrison, G.L.; Fordyce, R.E.; Arnason, U.; Penny, D. 2006. Early penguin fossils, plus mitochondrial genomes, calibrate avian evolution. Molecular Biology and Evolution 23: 1144-1155.

Recommended citation

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

Mannering's penguin

Breeding season
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
Egg laying dates
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun