Wide-flippered penguin

Platydyptes novaezealandiae (Oliver, 1930)

Order: Sphenisciformes

Family: Spheniscidae

New Zealand status: Endemic

Conservation status: Extinct

Other names: wideflippered penguin, wide flippered penguin

 
 
 
Wide-flippered penguin. Holotype. Specimen registration no. OR.001451; image no. MA_I064709. ? Waitaki valley,  Oamaru District. Image © Te Papa See Te Papa website: http://collections.tepapa.govt.nz/objectdetails.aspx?irn=314359&term=OR.001451

Wide-flippered penguin. Holotype. Specimen registration no. OR.001451; image no. MA_I064709. ? Waitaki valley, Oamaru District. Image © Te Papa See Te Papa website: http://collections.tepapa.govt.nz/objectdetails.aspx?irn=314359&term=OR.001451

Brian Marples (1952) created the genus Platydyptes to include the wide-flippered penguin (named earlier by W.R.B. (Reginald) Oliver), and Marples’ own newly named Amies’ penguin. George Gaylord Simpson added a third species to the genus in 1971. The genus name is a combination of the Greek platys, broad and flat, and dyptes, diver, referring to the shape of the humerus.

Platydyptes penguins were large penguins of the Late Oligocene – Early Miocene (25-22 million years ago). All specimens referred to the genus were found in North Otago or South Canterbury. The wide-flippered penguin is between Amies’ penguin and the smaller Simpson’s penguin in size.

The wide-flippered penguin was named based on a single humerus from the Oamaru district, estimated to be 25-22 million-years-old. A radius, ulna and fragments of a scapula and vertebrae were associated with the holotype (NMNZ OR.1451, held in the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa), but were not referred to in the type description. Marples referred a second specimen to this species, but Simpson considered this to be from a different species, which he named Platydyptes marplesi.

The species name is the latinised name for New Zealand.

Weblinks

http://collections.tepapa.govt.nz/objectdetails.aspx?oid=314359

References

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

Oliver, W.R.B. 1930. New Zealand birds. Wellington, Fine Arts.

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. Wide-flippered penguin. In Miskelly, C.M. (ed.) New Zealand Birds Online. www.nzbirdsonline.org.nz

Wide-flippered 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