Oliver's penguin

Korora oliveri Marples, 1952

Order: Sphenisciformes

Family: Spheniscidae

New Zealand status: Endemic

Conservation status: Extinct

Other names: Olivers penguin

 
 
 
Oliver's penguin. Tarsometatarsus in Otago Museum, ventral view, holotype, 4 cm long, registration numbers GL433, C.50.63. Hakataramea Valley, South Canterbury. Image © Otago Museum , Dunedin by Alan Tennyson

Oliver's penguin. Tarsometatarsus in Otago Museum, ventral view, holotype, 4 cm long, registration numbers GL433, C.50.63. Hakataramea Valley, South Canterbury. Image © Otago Museum , Dunedin by Alan Tennyson

Brian Marples (1952) created the genus Korora for a small, slender fossil penguin tarsometatarsus he found in the Hakataramea valley, South Canterbury in 1948. The genus name is derived from the Māori name for the extant little penguin Eudyptula minor, although Oliver’s penguin was probably about the size of one of the larger crested penguins. The species name honours Dr W.R.B. (Brook) Oliver (1883-1957), the then recently-retired Director of the Dominion Museum, who described two species of New Zealand fossil penguins in 1930.

Oliver’s penguin is estimated to have lived during the Late Oligocene – Early Miocene (25-22 million years ago). It remains known from only a single bone – the holotype tarsometatarsus (OM C.50.63) held in Otago Museum.

Weblinks

http://fossilpenguins.wordpress.com/2011/08/14/korora-oliveri-a-tiny-mystery/

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.

Recommended citation

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

Oliver's penguin

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