Maxwell's penguin

Kaiika maxwelli Fordyce & Thomas, 2011

Order: Sphenisciformes

Family: Spheniscidae

New Zealand status: Endemic

Conservation status: Extinct

Other names: Maxwells penguin

 
 
Maxwell's penguin. Holotype humerus in Geology Museum, University of Otago, registration number OU 22402. Waihao Valley, South Canterbury. Image © Used with permission, Geology Museum, University of Otago by Alan Tennyson

Maxwell's penguin. Holotype humerus in Geology Museum, University of Otago, registration number OU 22402. Waihao Valley, South Canterbury. Image © Used with permission, Geology Museum, University of Otago by Alan Tennyson

Maxwell’s penguin was described from a single well-preserved natural mould of a humerus found by Phillip Maxwell in a concretion in the Waihao River, South Canterbury in November 1998. Considered to be from the Early Eocene (c.54 million-years-old), Maxwell’s penguin was slightly larger than an emperor penguin. It is the third oldest penguin named (see Mannering’s penguin and Waipara penguin, genus Waimanu). Like the Waimanu penguins, it is considered an archaic penguin basal to modern penguins.

The holotype left humerus made from the natural mould (OU 22402) is held in the Geology Museum, University of Otago. The genus name means ‘fish-eater’, based on Māori ‘kai’ (food, eat) and ‘ika’ (fish). The species name honours the paleontologist Dr Phillip A. Maxwell (1940-2007), who found the specimen.

The humerus was at least 139 mm long, compared to 129 mm for the same measurement from a single emperor penguin humerus.

Weblinks

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

References

Fordyce, R.E.; Thomas, D.B. 2011. Kaiika maxwelli, a new Early Eocene archaic penguin (Sphenisciformes, Aves) from Waihao Valley, South Canterbury, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics 54: 43-51.

Recommended citation

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

Maxwell'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