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Yellow-Eyed Penguin

Yellow-Eyed Penguin

WELLINGTON, New Zealand – Researchers studying a rare and endangered species of penguin have uncovered a previously unknown species that disappeared about 500 years ago.

If it’s previously unknown, how do we know that it disappeared 500 years ago?

Seddon said dating techniques used on bones pulled from old Maori trash pits revealed a gap in time between the disappearance of the Waitaha and the arrival of the yellow-eyed penguin.

The gap indicates the extinction of the older bird created the opportunity for the newer to colonize New Zealand’s main islands around 500 years ago, said Sanne Boessenkool, an Otago University doctoral student who led the team of researchers, including some from Australia’s Adelaide University and New Zealand’s Canterbury Museum.


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